1 Monday, 15 October 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. Good afternoon. Good
8 afternoon everyone in the court. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Today, Monday the 15th of October, it's not the 15th of September which is
12 what appears in the transcript. There's a mistake there. It's the 15th
13 of October. On the 15th of October I would like to greet everyone
14 present, Mr. Stringer, his colleagues, Defence counsel, the accused, and
15 everyone else in the courtroom. Before we call the witness in, there are
16 a number of announcements I would like to make. First of all a problem
17 arose this morning. We were informed by a letter from Mr. Praljak that
18 his lawyer is currently absent because he is ill, and his co-counsel
19 cannot be present in the courtroom either and as a result Mr. Praljak has
20 asked us to pursue with the proceedings. He has accepted the fact that he
21 won't be represented during this state of the proceedings.
22 Is that correct, Mr. Praljak?
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours.
24 Yes, that's correct. I hope Mr. Kovacic, my lawyer, will be fit enough by
25 tomorrow or the day after to appear in the courtroom, and therefore it
1 will probably be possible to conduct the cross-examination as planned. I
2 have signed a piece of paper that I was provided with which states that
3 everything is in order and that I have given my allowance for this
4 procedure to be followed. I don't know whether you have a copy of the
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The Trial Chamber notes
7 that during the temporary absence of Mr. Kovacic and Ms. Pinter it is
8 possible to continue with the proceedings, and you have stated that your
9 lawyer will be in a position to conduct the cross-examination when the
10 time comes.
11 Having said that, I will now give the floor to the registrar who
12 will provide us with an IC number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. Several parties have
14 submitted lists of documents to be tendered through Witness Miroslav
15 Rupcic. The list submitted by the OTP shall be given Exhibit number IC
16 690; the list submitted by 1D shall be IC 691; and the list submitted by
17 2D shall be given Exhibit number IC 692. Thank you, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
19 I'll ask the registrar to move into private session for a few
20 seconds. It won't take long.
21 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now that we're in open session,
11 I'm turning to Mr. Karnavas. Last week at the end of the hearing you
12 raised an issue, a translation issue, that concerned the statement given
13 by Mr. Prlic, and you said that you wanted to the Chamber to order the
14 Registry to have this statement translated into B/C/S. You referred to
15 what had been done in the Perisic case.
16 Mr. Karnavas, I give you the floor now, but that is the request
17 you made; isn't that correct?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: That's correct with one modification,
19 Mr. President. Your Honours, good afternoon. In the Perisic case, very
20 much identical facts as in this case. A statement was -- was taken, the
21 English part of the statement was transcribed and distributed, and the
22 accused and the lawyers were then provided with the electronic form, CD,
23 of the B/C/S version. In that instance, the Defence moved to have the
24 B/C/S transcribed. The Prosecution refused. Judge Robinson said in that
25 case he -- he made a decision that it is an obligation of the Prosecution
1 to have it transcribed. I don't have it in front of me, Your Honour, but
2 I think last week's record I did read into the record some of the language
3 from that particular decision.
4 In this particular case, we were provided with the English
5 transcription. We were also provided with the electronic version.
6 However, the B/C/S was not transcribed. I made inquiries as to whether
7 the Prosecution intended to transcribe it. They said no. We're talking
8 about a considerable amount of work, and so in any event we did go to the
9 Registry to get funding for that because initially we thought we might
10 need to have it translated because in any event even if it's transcribed
11 we still have to make the comparisons of the English version versus the
12 B/C/S for actuary purposes, and they directed us to the Perisic decision
13 and asked us to make a request from the Trial Chamber to issue an order to
14 the Prosecution.
15 We believe that out of fairness, due process and equal protection
16 and since all the accused are to be treated equally before the Tribunal,
17 that's in the Statute, we believe in this case the Prosecution should also
18 transcribe that particular statement as was ordered in the Perisic case.
19 So that's my request.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Karnavas. Your
21 request is very clear.
22 Mr. Stringer, we're faced with the following problem: The
23 Prosecution made an application to have the statement of Mr. Prlic
24 admitted. The Chamber took a decision and admitted the statement, and the
25 outstanding problem is that this statement is in English and the accused
1 Prlic and the other co-accused obviously want to have a hard copy in their
2 own language. They want to have the statement in their own language.
3 Apparently the Prosecution doesn't want to use its own resources to
4 provide a B/C/S translation of the statement. Is that the case and, if
5 so, why?
6 MR. STRINGER: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, and
7 counsel, and everyone else.
8 I think the short answer is that we don't have the resources.
9 Certainly our resources -- our internal resources within the Office of the
10 Prosecution are highly stressed with translation and transcription matters
11 related to the other cases that are -- that are in the Tribunal. It's
12 certainly, I think, exclusively a question of resources, and the bottom
13 line is who is going to do it, whether that's someone within the
14 Prosecution office or whether itís someone who -- or persons who are
15 associated with the -- with the Registry. It's unfortunate that we're at
16 this situation at this very late stage.
17 One of the -- one of the arguments raised by counsel in asserting
18 that the matter should be certified for appeal in the first place was that
19 as counsel indicated and as the Trial Chamber recognised in its decision
20 granting the appeal, the issue needs to be resolved in -- in order that
21 all of the parties can organise their respective cases in the weeks and
22 months to come.
23 It is an important and becoming rather urgent that this be
24 resolved. It's unfortunate that counsel, having had the tapes in his
25 possession for the last three or four years, I don't know the date of the
1 suspect interview, but these have been in the possession of the accused
2 for years now. But, yes, getting back to the question, Mr. President,
3 it's a matter of resources. We don't have them, and in fact I don't know
4 that it's something that isn't customarily farmed out to -- to
5 contractors, but I think this is ultimately for the Trial Chamber to
6 decide. We think it's something that is between the Defence and the
7 Registry, and that's our position.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may briefly respond. I take the comments by
9 counsel rather insulting. First of all, they took the statement back in
10 2001. Second of all, I moved to have the statement suppressed. At the
11 time the Prosecutor stood up, not this gentleman, he was claiming to be a
12 Defence lawyer at the time, but he stood up, the Prosecutor then stood up
13 and said, "We haven't made up our mind." They wait 10 months into the
14 trial or more and then they decide, oh, yes, as an afterthought we are
15 going to use the statement when probably in all likelihood any talented
16 Prosecutor, and they are talented, would have known way in advance whether
17 they were going to use the statement or not. They deliberately waited.
18 Now we're running against the time. That's their problem, not my problem.
19 I'm entitled to have the same treatment as other accused.
20 Granted, my client is a Croat, but if we're going to treat Croats
21 different than Serbs or Muslims or Kosovars, then at least we should have
22 that in the Statute. But I find it insulting for the Prosecutor to stand
23 up and say, well, I waited too long. They waited too long. They should
24 have moved to have it in earlier. The appeal for certification was
25 granted, the appeal was filed today. And so I brought this to their
1 attention weeks ago. They have chosen deliberately not to do anything.
2 How are they going to use this statement with the witnesses if the
3 witnesses are speaking B/C/S? And what about the other accused? The
4 other accused are entitled to have the disclosure in the language in which
5 they understand, their mother language. So I find it rather curious that
6 this gentleman, who claims to have been a Defence lawyer, would stand up
7 here and then attack the Defence for wanting something which he would be
8 asking had he been in my shoes as a Defence lawyer.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The problem has been
10 presented. The Chamber will confer, and we will render our oral decision
11 by Wednesday afternoon or perhaps on Thursday morning.
12 I'll now move -- move on to another subject. It concerns the
13 hours of the hearing. Tomorrow we'll be sitting at 9.00, not at 2.15,
14 because we've changed places with another Chamber. The day after tomorrow
15 it will be 2.15 and Thursday at 2.15. So tomorrow we'll be in courtroom I
16 not in courtroom III. Tomorrow we'll be sitting in courtroom I at 9.00.
17 The Trial Chamber will now render an oral decision that I will
18 read out slowly so that the decision can be interpreted.
19 Oral decision concerning the clarification of an oral decision
20 rendered on the 10th of October, 2007, a decision in which the Prosecution
21 was granted an extension of the time limit up until the 22nd of October,
22 2007, in order to request permission to file two replies. In an oral
23 decision of October 10, 2007, the Trial Chamber granted the Prosecution an
24 extension of the time limit up until the 22nd of October 2007 in order to
25 file a request -- an authorisation to file responses to two motions. The
1 first motion was a request to have documentary evidence admitted,
2 documentary evidence about the structure and functioning of the HVO, of
3 the armed forces, filed on the 28th of June, 2007. And the second motion
4 was an application for the admission of evidence pursuant to Rule 92
5 bis(A) and (B) of the Rules (the Heliodrom and others). This second
6 motion was filed on the 10th of September, 2007.
7 The Trial Chamber would like to point out to the Accusation that
8 in accord with the rules and the practice of the Chamber the time limit of
9 the 22nd of October 2007 is only valid for requesting authorisation to
10 respond in writing by exposing exceptional circumstances that justify the
11 application for authorisation to respond. If necessary, the responses
12 should also be attached.
13 Mr. Stringer, I hope that you have understood this. Your
14 colleague Mr. Scott asked us for an extension of the time limit up until
15 the 22nd of October, 2007. The Trial Chamber has granted this request
16 however, this time limit is only valid in requesting authorisation to
17 respond and this has to be requested in writing and you have to explain
18 what the special or exceptional circumstances are and if necessary you
19 should also file the written documents that concern these replies. Have
20 you understood our position?
21 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President, and it's my understanding
22 because I know the Trial Chamber issued a decision on how it prefers these
23 replies to be handled so it is our intention on the 22nd of October to
24 file first a motion for leave to file a reply and that motion will be
25 accompanied by the proposed reply itself. So for each of these two
1 motions, the 89(C) motion on the HVO documents and the 92 bis motion we
2 will be filing two documents. One is the motion for leave to reply, and
3 it will be accompanied by the proposed reply.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That's quite right.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: With your leave, Mr. President, I have a question
6 to Mr. Karnavas. On line -- page 6, line 12 and 13, and again page 7,
7 line 8, you made a reference to Mr. Stringer who, I quote, "was claiming
8 to be a Defence lawyer at the time, and who claims to have been a Defence
10 I would like to -- to know what this somewhat doubtful formulation
11 refers to.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Mr. -- Your Honour. Mr. Stringer, who
13 claims to have been a Defence lawyer would obviously know about the rights
14 of the accused and how important it is for an accused to have all this
15 documentation, and I think that a real Defence lawyer would not be taking
16 the position, well, that Defence on this side waited so long and therefore
17 it is our error when in fact it is the obligation of the Prosecution to
18 provide these documents. I find the argument that he made insulting, and
19 I think that no self-respecting Defence lawyer, if he was becoming -- if
20 he became a Prosecutor, would be making that sort of an argument. That's
21 what I meant by that, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I accept that you are critical of the views of
23 Mr. Stringer now, but I don't think this is enough to doubt that he has
24 been in fact a Defence lawyer.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I am not doubting --
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: He may have changed his mind -- You are not
2 doubting it. So he was a Defence lawyer. Thank you.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: There was some irony to that. I think the point
4 was made, Your Honour. I think that just before we switch sides
5 occasionally, that doesn't mean that we forget that there are certain
6 rights, and I think if I'm a Defence lawyer today making these arguments
7 for the rights of the accused, tomorrow, if I became a Prosecutor I
8 certainly would not be trying to deny those very same rights of which
9 today I'm claiming my client is entitled to. That was the point I was
10 trying to make.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I think actually Mr. Stringer has not made
12 a point that there was no entitlement of the Defence to the translation.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, no, but the swipe was that somehow Defence
14 counsel was less than due diligent, when in fact the Prosecutor tactically
15 waited until the very last moment to make their move.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer.
17 MR. STRINGER: Well, Mr. President, I don't appreciate the
18 personal attacks and I think that's what it's become. My background is
19 what it is and I've never misrepresented it, which is what counsel appears
20 to be suggesting.
21 I have been a Defence lawyer throughout much of my career, and
22 I've been a Prosecutor throughout much of my career. I will say that it's
23 inconceivable to me that any Defence lawyer who works in English would not
24 have gotten an English -- or I should say would not have gotten the -- the
25 tape transcribed into his own client's language within the last three or
1 four years but beyond that I have -- I have nothing more to say.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move on and
3 call -- we'll be calling the witness into the courtroom in a minute. The
4 Prosecution has requested five hours. I'd like to remind you of the fact
5 and Mr. Stringer will perhaps require less time. As far as Defence
6 counsel is concerned, the Trial Chamber grants them five hours and 30
7 minutes to be divided up as follows: Mr. Prlic will have an hour;
8 Mr. Stojic one hour, Mr. Petkovic one hour, Mr. Coric one hour,
9 Mr. Praljak one hour, and Mr. Pusic 30 minutes. In the case of
10 Mr. Praljak, well, his name only appears on two occasions, in paragraph 60
11 and paragraph 62 of the statement, but the accused can divide the time as
12 they see fit.
13 We'll now call the witness into the courtroom and here he is.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 WITNESS: RAYMOND LANE
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir.
17 THE WITNESS: Good day.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please tell me your
19 first and last names and your date of birth for the sake of the
21 THE WITNESS: Raymond Lane, 06/05/53.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Sir, do you
23 currently have a profession? If so, what sort of profession.
24 THE WITNESS: Army officer.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current rank?
1 THE WITNESS: Commandant.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Commandant, have you already
3 testified before an International Tribunal about the events that took
4 place in the former Yugoslavia or is this the first time?
5 THE WITNESS: It's the first time.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: It's the first time.
7 THE WITNESS: First time.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please read out the
10 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
11 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the
15 Prosecutor, I'd like to provide you with some information about the
16 procedure that we will be following. Initially you'll have to answer
17 questions put to you by the Prosecution represented by Mr. Stringer, whom
18 you have certainly met. You must have met him this weekend or this
20 Mr. Stringer will put questions to you. He will show you some
21 documents that are in a binder you will be provided with too. Upon
22 completion of this stage which will take several hours, Defence counsel,
23 who are to your left, they are quite numerous, but rest assured there's
24 one lawyer per accused, and each lawyer will cross-examine you in turn.
25 If the Chamber grants them authorisation to do so, the accused may
1 also put questions you to when we start dealing with any technical
2 matters. The three Judges sitting before you, usually there are four of
3 us but today there are only three of us and the Judges sitting before you
4 may also put questions to you at any point in time, but in order to make
5 sure that the proceedings run smoothly, we prefer to put our questions
6 after both sides, both parties, have put their questions to you, but
7 sometimes when we have a document before us we might intervene at that
8 point in time so as not to have to go back to the document at some
9 subsequent time, which would be a waste of time.
10 The form the questions take are different. The Prosecution won't
11 put leading questions to you and your answers will probably be elaborate
12 ones to those questions. Defence counsel will put leading questions to
13 you and as a rule the answers to those questions will consist of saying
14 yes, no, or I don't know. As far as the Judges are concerned, they put
15 questions to witnesses in a different manner. It all depends on the
17 Please try and be precise when answering the questions put to you.
18 If you fail to understand the sense of the question, don't hesitate to ask
19 the party putting the question to you to rephrase that question. Every
20 one and a half hours we'll have a 20-minute break. If at any point in
21 time you feel unwell, if you would like to -- us to have a break, don't
22 hesitate to inform us of the fact.
23 Naturally if you have any questions to put to the Chamber, we are
24 here to address such matters.
25 Having said that I will now give the floor to Mr. Stringer who
1 will conduct his examination if chief.
2 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Examination by Mr. Stringer:
4 Q. Witness, good afternoon. Tell us your name, please?
5 A. Raymond Lane.
6 Q. And as you've already indicated, you are a commandant, an officer
7 in the Irish army?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Could you give the Trial Chamber, please, a brief summary or
10 resume of your career in the Irish army?
11 A. I'm, as I say, a serving officer of 32 years' experience at which
12 time I have spent a significant amount of time in the Middle East serving
13 with the UN forces in Lebanon. I served with the ECMM in Bosnia, and I've
14 just recently returned from Afghanistan where I served with ISAF troops as
15 the leader of counter-IED section of ISAF headquarters.
16 Q. Okay and you mention the counter-IED. Could you tell us what IED
18 A. In -- as in Iraq, Afghanistan is suffering the same number of
19 casualties due to the manufacture, application, and detonation of
20 improvised explosive devices. It's a technology that big countries are
21 now coming to realise is a serious threat to their operational campaigns.
22 So I was asked to go as an IED expert to assist the NATO forces at their
23 four-star level to try and reduce the casualties being inflicted on NATO
24 troops in Afghanistan.
25 Q. Okay. And then is that a speciality that you've developed and
1 received training on et cetera throughout your career, that is, explosive
3 A. I've been an IED operator for the last 27, 28 years. Too long to
4 remember, in fact. And I've done other courses throughout the world but
5 as you were aware, Ireland had one of the most serious IED problems
6 globally with the IRA for 30 years and thankfully that has now finished.
7 Q. And then in terms of educational training that you received either
8 in respect of your role as an explosives specialist or otherwise, could
9 you tell us what sort of educational background you have, please?
10 A. I have a honours science degree majoring in chemistry. It's a
11 four-year degree that the army sends their officers on. It's to a
12 civilian university which is slightly unique and different from other
13 armies where they send their personnel to military universities. As I
14 said, I've given many, many courses throughout own defence forces in the
15 area of IEDD and weapon technology, which is an area of interest of mine
16 also, and I also completed, on my own time, a masters of business
17 administration, planning for the future in the event that someday I'd have
18 to leave our organisation.
19 Q. Okay. Now you've indicated already that you were associated
20 during some period of time with the ECMM; is that correct?
21 A. I was fortunate to be selected to -- as -- as a member to go to
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992 as a member of the ECMM as it was at that time.
23 Q. All right.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Stringer. I have a small
1 You have indicated your grade -- your rank is commandant.
2 THE WITNESS: Yes.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It is not a denomination which I would know from
4 other armies. Could you give us a reference to what that would correspond
6 THE WITNESS: Well, just to explain historically when the British
7 left Ireland one rank that the Irish government decided that they wouldn't
8 copy from the British was the rank of major. So they developed their own
9 rank, which is known as commandant.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that you're a
12 commandant in the Irish army. Could you clarify this for me? Is there
13 southern Ireland or Northern Ireland? I didn't quite understand which
14 army you belong to.
15 THE WITNESS: It's a very -- it's a very politically sensitive
16 question. There is only one army in Ireland and that's the --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you don't want to answer the
18 question, you don't have to.
19 THE WITNESS: Absolutely, I'll answer it, absolutely. There is
20 only one army in the Republic of Ireland; it's known as the Irish Defence
21 Forces, the IDF, Irish Defence Forces, and it's the legitimate army of the
22 government of the Republic of Ireland and that's the army to which I
24 MR. STRINGER:
25 Q. Witness, you indicated that you were selected or that you became
1 associated with ECMM, that's the European Community Monitoring Mission as
2 it was known at the time; correct?
3 A. That's correct, yes.
4 Q. And did you then go down to Zagreb in Croatia in -- sometime in
5 September of 1992 to begin that work?
6 A. We'd a number of Irish military people deployed to Zagreb at that
7 particular time to -- yeah to Hotel I, to ECMM headquarters, yes.
8 Q. And then initially what posting or assignment did you receive then
9 upon your arrival in Zagreb?
10 A. Having completed the basic introduction -- introductory course
11 into ECMM matters, I was then transferred to Knin in Krajina as a monitor.
12 Q. All right. Just backing up one -- one step to Zagreb. When you
13 arrived in Zagreb with your colleagues from the Irish army, did you
14 receive any sort of briefings or background about the conflict as it
15 existed at the time?
16 A. The EC -- ECMM had a structured introduction -- introductory
17 briefing on to the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time. It
18 included historical information, current operational information, a
19 medical brief, and communications briefings.
20 Q. Okay. Now, the Trial Chamber has heard testimony from a number
21 of -- number of other persons who were associated with the ECMM at various
22 times and so I'm not going to go into much detail about the reporting
23 chains of command and the structure of the ECMM.
24 Is it correct to say that upon your arrival it was the UK that was
25 chairing or heading the mission that shortly after your arrival then that
1 changed over to the Danish government?
2 A. The -- from what I remember, the -- the British most -- UK had the
3 Presidency at that time and I think on the 1st of January, 1993, it was
4 handed officially over to Denmark.
5 Q. Okay. Now you say initially you were posted in Knin. How long
6 did you stay in that area?
7 A. A very short period of time, a number of weeks.
8 Q. And then what happened?
9 A. I was asked to report to our regional centre Split to speak with
10 the ambassador about a possible transfer from Krajina to the control of RC
12 Q. Do you recall approximately when you then went down to Split? If
13 you had arrived --
14 A. I think it was mid -- unfortunately it's 15 years since these
15 events but -- so dates are difficult but I think maybe mid-October.
16 Q. Now upon your arrival in Split did you receive any additional
17 training? Or tell us in general what was the purpose of your going there?
18 A. The ECMM had withdrawn their personnel from Bosnia-Herzegovina the
19 previous year. There was some -- there was an attack on -- from what I
20 remember, an attack on ECMM personnel. A decision was now made - excuse
21 me - that we would send people back into Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I was
22 asked by the ambassador in -- in regional centre Split would I head up the
23 team going back into -- into Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. The course you refer to was a very short course. It was basically
1 directing us where we possibly could go when we did go back into
2 Herzegovina and what our job would be.
3 Q. All right. So then you headed a delegation then of ECMM back into
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tell us where you ultimately chose to set up shop and
5 what was the extent of this delegation? What was the extent of your
6 operation there initially?
7 A. Operation was extremely small. There was the head -- first of all
8 the designation for my -- for my -- for my office was HCC Grude, head of
9 the coordination centre Grude. And the initial plan was for us to set up
10 our office in Grude and move out from there. However, on arrival in
11 Grude, I decided to push on to Siroki Brijeg, which was closer to Mostar,
12 and I decided to set up our headquarter -- HCC headquarters in
13 Siroki Brijeg. To answer your question, the strength of the -- of my
14 people, we had no more than 9 or 10 at that time.
15 Q. Okay. Then once you began setting up the coordination centre
16 Grude at Siroki Brijeg, tell us just briefly what would have been the
17 reporting chain for you then? How was the reporting to take place?
18 A. Well, the idea was to deploy these 9 or 10 people into teams on
19 the ground. Each team consisting - and I'm sure you've been briefed of
20 this already - of a driver, a monitor and an interpreter, and a vehicle
21 and they would head out to predetermined tasks which I would give them.
22 They would report back to the headquarters which was now in Siroki Brijeg
23 at the end of the day and I would prepare a report on their activities
24 which I would send to the regional centre in Split.
25 On a Saturday then I would return to Split where other HCCs would
1 arrive and we'd be debriefed by our ambassador on the work we had done
2 during the week and any specific questions he might have and tasks for the
3 following time.
4 Q. Okay you've mentioned now twice the ambassador who was in Split.
5 Can you tell us who that was?
6 A. Again his name was De Castella.
7 Q. Okay. What country was he from, do you recall?
8 A. Again I could be wrong on this but Spanish, I think, but I'm not a
9 hundred per cent sure.
10 Q. Okay. And then at some point --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer.
12 Commandant, I have listened to you and you appear to answer one of
13 the concerns that I have had for a long time and that is the choice of the
14 position of the European mission, the location, actually, and you told us
15 that you decided to set up shop in Siroki Brijeg. I must convey my
16 astonishment. The European mission decided to monitor the situation on
17 the ground. How is it you didn't decide to set up your office in Mostar?
18 Why not -- why did you choose to go outside of Mostar? Could you answer
19 that question?
20 THE WITNESS: If we go back to the period we referred to, 1992,
21 the briefings I received in Split before my -- my movement into
22 Herzegovina were insufficient operationally for me to determine that I
23 should go into Mostar. I felt we -- from -- from a tactical point of view
24 that we would be better to stay outside Mostar initially and then patrol
25 Mostar over the next period of time and see what the situation on the
1 ground was. It was -- it was a tactical decision, basically for the
2 safety of my people.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this decision was made by you
4 personally. No one told you that you should set up office outside of
5 Mostar. It is you yourself that decided independently to form an office
6 in Siroki Brijeg.
7 THE WITNESS: Again, from what I remember the original plan was to
8 set up the office in Grude. Thus the designation HCC Grude, which is even
9 further away from Mostar. Siroki Brijeg was closer to Mostar and would
10 give us access to Mostar on a daily basis without too much trouble to get
11 in, we hoped.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Could we get a concrete answer to your question
13 that it was solely his decision? I think that was the question,
14 Mr. President. We got the explanation the first time.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. My question was whether it
16 was you yourself, that you decided independently about the location but on
17 page 10 and 11 -- on line 10 and 11 we see that the original plan was to
18 establish an office in Grude. So this original plan did not come from
19 you. What is the relationship between the original plan and your decision
20 to set up office in Siroki Brijeg?
21 THE WITNESS: On the question of who made the decision, I am sure
22 that RC Split were involved in the decision-making process. However,
23 again I refer to the fact that it's 15 years ago and I cannot actually
24 remember the sequence of events that led to that decision. But the
25 decision to -- to not go into Mostar was based purely -- from what I
1 remember, on the safety of ECMM personnel.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, for clarification purposes, does the
3 gentleman go to Siroki Brijeg because it was his decision or Split's
4 decision? Because now we're getting a different answer for Mostar.
5 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: If he doesn't remember he can simply say he doesn't
7 remember, but now we're going into speculation.
8 MR. STRINGER: Well, Mr. President, I'm going to -- this is my
9 direct examination. Counsel can cross on this. The witness has just said
10 it was -- it was 15 years ago.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You can come back to it.
12 Please continue, Mr. Stringer.
13 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Now, the CC Grude, then, which was set up or established in
15 Siroki Brijeg, tell us, what was, generally speaking, your area of
16 responsibility, and if you had subteams where were those located?
17 A. After we had settled into Siroki Brijeg and carried out our
18 initial reconnaissance of Mostar and adjoining areas, a decision was made
19 to send one team to Tomislavgrad, one team to remain in Siroki Brijeg, and
20 as I said, I set up my headquarters in Siroki Brijeg.
21 Q. And in terms of the area of responsibility, was it limited to only
22 this Western Herzegovina region or -- or did it extend beyond that, the
23 borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. I was briefed on leaving Split on my taskings, which was to
25 monitor the situation in Herzegovina and also to identify problems or
1 concerns in other areas of the area as I -- as I -- as I deemed relevant
2 to the situation.
3 Q. Now, when you say monitoring the situation, can you tell us in
4 general how you and your -- your various teams went about doing that?
5 What was the general strategy, recognising that your team was really the
6 first one to go into this area then having to invent the wheel, if you
7 will? What was the initial strategy on how to go about your
9 A. Absolute -- and also the extremely limited resources -- resources
10 and assets we had. The strategy was basically to move into key areas of
11 the region, meet the -- or the key leaders, develop a relationship with
12 them, try and get a feel for what was happening on the ground both
13 politically, militarily, the local population. In other words, get a feel
14 for -- for the area.
15 Q. You were talking an a little bit earlier about how your teams
16 worked. You mentioned that you would go down to Split then on Saturdays,
17 I think for a meeting in which all of the other heads of the coordination
18 centres would -- would come in.
19 A. We would have an ambassadors's meeting on Saturday in which we
20 would report on our previous week's work. And he would determine then --
21 he might have some questions he would WANTED us to chase up the following
22 week and he might have some specific taskings for us the following week.
23 Q. Okay. And in terms of your own meetings and relations with your
24 own team, your subteams, if you will, did you have regular meetings with
25 those subteams?
1 A. Well, we all tried to meet together on Sunday when I returned from
2 Split, and at that stage I was able to pass on to them the specific
3 taskings if I had them from RC Split and also my own taskings then for the
4 activity for the following week.
5 Q. Okay. Now, when you and your people then arrived and set up in
6 Siroki Brijeg, looking back on it now could you tell us how extensive --
7 what -- what -- how extensive was your knowledge of the situation in that
8 area? You had the HVO. You had the Croats, Muslims, Serbs, et cetera.
9 What was the extent of -- of the briefing, looking back now, that you had
10 going in?
11 A. I -- I would say going in and even looking at it at the time, the
12 briefing I received and we received going in was, to put it mildly, poor.
13 Q. So you were essentially starting from scratch, trying to determine
14 who the parties were, what were the issues, what was the situation.
15 A. As you said, we were -- we were developing it as we went along.
16 Q. Okay. Then as you arrived -- well, let's see. You indicated that
17 you had then gone down to Split, you thought, in mid-October.
18 Approximately how long after that -- how much time did you spend in Split
19 before you were able to set up the office in Siroki Brijeg?
20 A. Not long. Short period of time.
21 Q. So we're still talking about mid to late October?
22 A. Mm-hmm.
23 Q. Right. Could you tell the Trial Chamber, please, then after you
24 arrived and began work, what, if you recall, were the main areas of -- of
25 tension? Were there particular areas that drew your attention right away?
1 A. Mostar, obviously, was -- was a key task of mine, to monitor, to
2 find out who the key leaders were in -- in the city, to put a presence on
3 the ground, to put the European Union flag flying in Mostar, to show the
4 people that we were there to assist. That was the priority.
5 Q. Okay. Did you go about, then, attempting to communicate, meet
6 with local leaders in Mostar?
7 A. That was part of the -- my modus operandi.
8 Q. And can you tell us, if you recall, about your initial meeting or
9 meetings with the Croat leadership or HVO leadership in Mostar?
10 A. Yes. I -- I met Mr. Stojic, Mr. Bozic, Mr. Coric in the HVO
11 headquarters, introduced myself, my function, why I was there. I took
12 myself over then and I met Mr. -- at some stage met Mr. Prlic, the same
13 function to introduce myself, introduce the fact that the European Union
14 were here.
15 Q. Okay. What was the situation in Mostar at the time as you found
17 A. I found the situation in -- there was certainly a tense -- a
18 tension in the air, which became very apparent after a while. There was a
19 significant difference between the living conditions on the west side as
20 opposed to the east side.
21 Q. During your initial meeting or meetings with Mr. Stojic, Bozic,
22 and Coric, can you tell us did you then learn what were their -- their
23 functions, their titles, their spheres of responsibility?
24 A. I felt that the group as they sat at the table was a homogenous
25 group of people who both wore a military and a political hat at the same
1 time. I could never quite determine was there a dividing line down the
3 Q. Mr. Stojic, do you recall his position?
4 A. From what I remember, he was again head of the HVO on the
5 political side.
6 Q. All right. And did he wear a uniform or did he wear civilian
7 clothes when you met with him?
8 A. From what I remember, he was -- he wore a uniform as -- as his
9 deputy Mr. Bozic did, yes.
10 Q. Okay. We'll talk about this more later, but throughout the
11 remainder of your time in the region, and I should have asked you that
12 before, actually, you stayed then as head of the coordination centre Grude
13 until the 22nd of March, 1993?
14 A. Around that time, yeah.
15 Q. So that's going to be the -- that's the bracket of --
16 A. That's did.
17 Q. -- of our time period here.
18 Throughout that period how frequently did you meet with
19 Mr. Stojic?
20 A. I made every -- again as I described to you, since Mostar was one
21 of my priorities, I attempted to meet people on a regular basis. So I
22 would often, often drive by and call in, just to talk and see how things
23 were going, listen to what he has to say and for him to listen to me.
24 Q. And what was the relation between Mr. Stojic and Mr. Bozic?
25 A. Mr. Stojic appeared to be the man in charge. Mr. Bozic, while a
1 very strong personality, was his deputy, appeared to be his deputy.
2 Q. Now, during this initial meeting in -- well, do you recall where
3 this -- your initial contacts with these gentlemen, Mr. Stojic, Bozic,
4 where that took place?
5 A. It was at HVO headquarters on the road down from Siroki Brijeg.
6 Q. Did you meet General Petkovic at that time when you met with
8 A. I cannot actually remember that.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. I met him subsequently but not -- maybe not at that meeting. I'm
11 not sure.
12 Q. Okay. And then let me ask you about Mr. Coric again. At the
13 initial time of your meeting him, what, if you recall, was his position or
15 A. He -- he was at the table. At that time I couldn't determine what
16 his function was.
17 Q. Okay. At any -- subsequently as time went along were you able to
18 determine what was his position?
19 A. I knew he was involved, had some position of authority in the
20 Vojna Policija, in the military police.
21 Q. Military police.
22 A. Yeah.
23 Q. Okay. Now, during this initial period in October of 1992, then,
24 you indicated that you met with General Petkovic. What was the purpose of
25 going to meet him and --
1 A. The same -- same reason. Key leader engagement. Part of the
2 function -- my function out there was to meet the key leaders, engage with
3 them, and get a sense of what was going on in Mostar. Get a sense of what
4 was going on that particular region so then I could report back on
5 Saturday or before to RC Split.
6 Q. Where did you meet with General Petkovic?
7 A. Again I cannot remember.
8 Q. In Mostar?
9 A. It was in Mostar I'm sure, yeah.
10 Q. Was it the same location where you met Mr. Stojic?
11 A. Could possibly be but I cannot say.
12 Q. Did you always meet him at the same place?
13 A. Who, Petkovic?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. No. No. I met him at some stage I think in his own -- in a
16 building in a cellar somewhere but again I'm afraid it's very vague.
17 Q. Okay. Let me ask you just another couple other names.
18 Mate Boban.
19 A. I met Mr. Boban in Grude with the mayor of Grude, Mr. Maric,
20 Jozo Maric. I would meet Mr. Boban in Grude.
21 Q. Did you meet him early during your tour there?
22 A. Yep, yep. In fact, he possibly was, as a mark of respect to him,
23 I think he was the first person I went to visit.
24 Q. Do you recall at this point what his function or role was?
25 A. Except -- no, but he was obviously the important man.
1 Q. Okay. How many times did you meet with Mr. Boban in Grude, if you
3 A. I can't determine -- I have no idea.
4 Q. Can you give us an approximate, five, 10?
5 A. A number of times.
6 Q. Okay. Are you able to recall how frequently you met with him?
7 A. With Mr. Boban?
8 Q. Yes. Was there a regular --
9 A. Oh, no. You mean a scheduled -- no. No.
10 Q. Okay if I didn't ask you this already, what about Mr. Stojic?
11 A. Yeah, regularly.
12 Q. How often?
13 A. I would be in his office every week.
14 Q. Jadranko Prlic?
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. Did you meet with him?
17 A. I did on a regular basis.
18 Q. Did you meet him during this very early stage?
19 A. Yes, I made myself known to him and my function in Mostar. The
20 European Union, we were here we were back. Again, he was a key leader and
21 had to be engaged.
22 Q. You say he was key. Do you recall his title or function more
24 A. No, but it was obvious any deliberations we had that he was an
25 influential and very important person in the region.
1 Q. Okay. We've talked about Boban, Prlic, Stojic, Coric, Petkovic.
2 As between those gentlemen, can you give us an idea of the hierarchy as
3 you observed it to be?
4 A. Could you repeat the question.
5 Q. As between Boban, Prlic, Petkovic, Stojic, Coric, can you give us
6 an idea of the hierarchy, if you were able to observe any sort of a
7 hierarchy in all of your dealings with them?
8 A. The -- the hierarchy appeared to be Mr. Boban at the top, then
9 Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, Mr. Petkovic, and Coric.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. Some -- something like that.
12 Q. I should ask you about General Praljak, if you had dealings with
13 him at all during the time that you were in Western Herzegovina.
14 A. No. I had very little dealings with General Praljak. I became --
15 obviously became aware of his presence. Never -- didn't see him that much
16 in the area, but I was aware of his position through speaking with
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. Subsequently.
20 Q. So you know who he was.
21 A. Yeah.
22 Q. You mentioned UNPROFOR. Could you tell us just generally how
23 frequently you communicated with UNPROFOR, whether you had access to
24 information, briefings on information that came to them?
25 A. On a regular basis I would try and make contact with them.
1 Q. And who were the UNPROFOR units that you dealt with --
2 A. We had --
3 Q. While you were there?
4 A. -- the Cheshire Regiment were in Gornji Vakuf. And subsequent to
5 that, in 1993, the UN decided to deploy UNMOs, that's United Nations
6 military observers into Herzegovina and in fact they located themselves
7 into Medjugorje where I would meet then on a regular basis to discuss what
8 was going on in the area. They were a great source of information also.
9 Q. Did you have any dealings with a gentleman named Pusic,
10 Berislav Pusic?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Now, during this initial period in which you were going around and
13 meeting the HVO people that we've just been discussing, how long did
14 this -- this -- this take, and how long was it before you moved then
15 across to the east side of Mostar?
16 A. I spent a lot of time on the west side, a lot of time, which
17 included visiting outside Mostar and include visiting Medjugorje,
18 Jablanica -- or Capljina, all those kinds of towns. And the decision was
19 made then to go to the east side of the river.
20 Q. Do you recall approximately when it is that you would have gone
21 into East Mostar, how many days or weeks after --
22 A. I would say maybe a week and a half. I can't be sure.
23 Q. Okay. Now, how did you get into east Mostar then at that point?
24 A. Walked over the -- the Old Bridge.
25 Q. The Stari Most?
1 A. The Stari Most.
2 Q. Can you tell the Judges what you recall about that first visit
3 into East Mostar, who you met, what were the conditions and situation
5 A. The first thing I say is we got a very bad welcome from the Armija
6 or the -- the military on that side. They were very angry. We were
7 brought to a location and left there for a period of time. Then
8 Mr. Pasalic turned up and spoke to us. He directed his anger at me and
9 said that he had monitored our movement on other side of the city and that
10 he was surprised that it took us so long to cross the -- to the east side
11 of the river.
12 Q. You're saying "we". Who was accompanying you on this?
13 A. I had one monitor -- I had one monitor and a driver with me.
14 Q. Did you have an interpreter at that time as well?
15 A. I had but I can't actually remember who it was.
16 Q. So he was upset with you because it had taken you some time to
17 come into East Mostar.
18 A. Mm-hmm, yes.
19 Q. Why had it taken you, in his view, such a long time to come
21 A. In his view?
22 Q. Or in your view, why did it take so long?
23 A. It -- based on -- unfortunately, based on the briefings I had
24 received back in Split, the structure of Mostar had not been really
25 explained to me. If the structure of Mostar had been explained to me, I
1 would have been on the east side of Mostar the day after I arrived. It
2 was -- it was a mistake.
3 Q. What was the situation in East Mostar then in this period? Are we
4 talking about November now of 1992?
5 A. We're talking about November 1992, we are.
6 Q. What was the situation in East Mostar at that time?
7 A. If we're talking about the west side of Mostar where there was
8 sufficient food, electricity, even little restaurants, life wasn't too
9 bad. If you went on to the east side of Mostar you were looking at
10 bill -- shops with -- with limited provisions in them, school -- or
11 hospitals in quite a sorry state and very limited medicines available.
12 Limited phone access, and very limited electricity.
13 Q. Now, at some point did you become aware of a conflict that had
14 occurred previously involving the Serbs and its effect on Mostar?
15 A. Absolutely. I mean I could see the damage inflicted on Mostar by
16 the artillery -- the Serb artillery shelling, yes.
17 Q. So there was physical destruction of the east part at that time?
18 A. There was, but there was more destruction, significant destruction
19 on the east side as opposed to the west side.
20 Q. Did you observe Serb shelling taking place during the time that
21 you were in the region?
22 A. Mm-hmm. There was a significant amount of shelling from the --
23 from the north of the artillery positions on the north. Significantly,
24 most, if a lot of it, ended up on the east side of Mostar and a very
25 limited amount on the west side.
1 Q. Now, after this initial visit into East Mostar in November or so,
2 then did you and your people go more frequently into East Mostar?
3 A. Yes. I tried to match time spent on the west side with the east
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We know that you entered Mostar
6 in November 1992, and you told the Prosecutor that there was damage to the
7 buildings as a result of the conflict with the Serbs. My question is very
8 precise. It's important for us. Did you see the mosques in Mostar?
9 THE WITNESS: The question is, sir, did I see the mosques in
10 Mostar. I cannot recollect, sir, seeing those -- those mosques.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there's nothing you can tell
12 us about the mosques?
13 THE WITNESS: Unfortunately, absolutely nothing, sir.
14 MR. STRINGER:
15 Q. Now, this first trip or visit in East Mostar where you walked
16 across the Old Bridge, then as you left East Mostar did you subsequently
17 have a meeting with Mr. Bozic?
18 A. I was summoned to his headquarters where he expressed his disquiet
19 of the fact that I would go across to the east side of the city. I just
20 explained to him that my mandate was to cover Mostar in total and I would
21 spend equal time in west side and east side and try and look after the
22 concerns of all the relevant people to the best of our ability.
23 Q. What was his reaction to that?
24 A. That was the end of the discussion.
25 Q. Did he react favourably to that?
1 A. I think it would be a fair comment to say he wasn't that happy
2 about it.
3 Q. Did he indicate why he was not happy about that?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you inform Mr. Bozic of the conditions, the situation as you
6 found it in East Mostar?
7 A. My -- my modus operandi in my dealings again, as I say, with all
8 key leader engagements was whatever I saw on the ground would not only be
9 briefed back to RC Split, the regional centre, but to key leaders in the
10 area who might be in a position to do something about it. So every time I
11 highlight something here that I've seen that gave me cause for concern,
12 the key leaders on all sides would be briefed on it.
13 Q. And that would include Mr. Bozic? And his position again was?
14 A. Appeared to be deputy to Mr. Stojic.
15 Q. The issue of the situation or conditions in East Mostar, was this
16 a situation that you raised with the HVO authorities on more than one
18 A. I can't -- I cannot tell you how many times I raised it, but I
19 can -- I can tell you that it was raised.
20 Q. Do you recall if you raised this with Mr. Stojic himself?
21 A. I raised it with all the key leaders.
22 Q. Would that include Mr. Prlic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, as a result of this initial visit in East Mostar and the
25 situation there, did you set about to organise aid and assistance to go
1 into East Mostar?
2 A. I decided that I would try and alleviate some of the problems that
3 I had seen by the transportation of certain medicines and some other
4 equipment into East Mostar.
5 Q. And did you actually accomplish or -- that? In other words you
6 were able to --
7 A. It did. The convoy moved in successfully, off-loaded its cargo
8 and returned to the other side.
9 Q. Now, during the time that you were in the region, do you know
10 if -- when you -- when you raised this issue with the HVO officials, do
11 you know if they took any actions to alleviate the situation or improve
12 the conditions in East Mostar?
13 A. There was no significant improvement on the ground as far as I
14 could see.
15 Q. Now, after you and your staffs began making regular visits into
16 East Mostar as you've indicated, did you become aware of -- did ECMM, the
17 mission there, experience any change in -- in the way you were dealt with
18 either by the HVO or the Croat community in general?
19 A. Life became quite difficult for the ECM operations in -- there
20 Siroki Brijeg. We had a number of cases. For example, we had -- my
21 particular vehicle, armoured vehicle, had one small-arms round fired into
22 the passenger side of the vehicle, into the armoured glass of the vehicle
23 at approximately head height, and I think there was a message in that. We
24 also had an attempt with a block of wood with large nails protruding
25 placed under the tyres so that if we drove forward as we normally did we
1 would puncture the tyres.
2 We had some bad experiences in Siroki Brijeg in some of the
3 restaurants there where it appeared we weren't that welcome by certain --
4 certain parts of the town.
5 Q. Did you encounter any media coverage of your mission, then, during
6 this time?
7 A. We featured on local newspapers. In fact, I think there was one
8 cartoon placed in the newspaper which caused us quite a bit of concern.
9 It depicted the EC and the -- the Muslim side arm in arm, if you like, and
10 standing in Croatian blood. That inflamed some of the local people and
11 required me to take some -- some direct action.
12 Q. Okay. And -- and then did you actually go to speak to the local
13 priest in Siroki Brijeg to try to get some assistance on that?
14 A. My priorities at that stage had slightly changed. The -- the
15 preservation of my people became my priority. I was seriously concerned,
16 and remembering again we were an unarmed mission as opposed to other
17 missions I've been on where we were armed. We were unarmed, vulnerable,
18 and I was extremely concerned about my people. So I went for a visit to
19 Father Zvoko, who I think he might have been the parish priest in
20 Siroki Brijeg, I'm not sure but I said if he wouldn't mind the next
21 Sunday, the subsequent Sunday at mass just announcing to the people of
22 Siroki Brijeg that the ECMM were in the area to assist everybody and that
23 we would appreciate if these acts, as they were, would cease.
24 Q. Did -- were you able to get any relief or -- or support on that --
25 on that note?
1 A. No. Unfortunately, we failed.
2 Q. Okay.
3 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I have a binder of exhibits for the
4 witness that I think are in the hands of the usher. I'd ask if those
5 could be handed to the witness now.
6 Q. And, Witness, I'm going to take you to the document that's at tab
7 10288. 10288. And just a brief reminder to the technical booth, it's an
8 ECMM reports which we're not putting on the TV screens that are viewed by
9 the public. 10288.
10 A. I have it.
11 Q. Does this appear to be an ECMM report, a weekly summary for the
12 period of 16 to 22 November 1992?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. Now, I want to direct your attention to the fourth page of that
15 document, at the very top under heading -- or number D, indicating that
16 for a period ECMM freedom of movement was restricted by the Herceg-Bosna
17 chief of military police. And then as a result of a protest by CC
18 Grude -- is that you?
19 A. It would have been me.
20 Q. The restriction was lifted on the instructions of the so-called
21 minister for defence, Mr. Stojic. Do you see that?
22 A. I do.
23 Q. Okay. My first question, sir, is whether this refreshes your
24 memory or is a correct indication of the position that was held by
25 Mr. Stojic at this time?
1 A. All I can say reading this is I remember the restriction on the
2 freedom of movement of my vehicles. I can remember referring it to
3 Mr. Stojic and getting a positive answer. I do not remember saying that
4 it was as a result of the Herceg-Bosna chief of military police. I do not
5 remember that.
6 Q. Okay. Do you recall that Mr. Stojic was the minister for defence?
7 A. I don't.
8 Q. Okay. All right. Do you have any reason to disagree with the
9 indication in this record?
10 A. No, absolutely not.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
12 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I would like to say that
13 the Croatian translation that we received doesn't fit. There are two
14 different documents. There's a technical problem. I've We've seen the
15 English version. We have no objection in principle, but there are two
16 different documents that have been given the same number. So the number
17 is simply wrong -- or, rather, the number is right, but the date is wrong.
18 It says in the Croatian version that it's a statement for the 16th of
19 February, but it's obviously a mistake. You can see that it's the same
20 document from the contents, but the date is different. Because later
21 we'll have a problem as a result of this. It's a technical detail.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. Now, Witness, we spoke for a few minutes about Mostar and
25 Siroki Brijeg. You indicated that you were going around the region
1 generally. What was your normal routine, say, during the week, during
2 this period? We're staying with November, December 1992.
3 A. As -- as we were early days into our mission, it was a question,
4 as I repeat, of meeting the key leaders, engaging with them and moving
5 from one town to another town, seeing the situation and trying to build up
6 an overall picture of what was happening in the area.
7 Q. Now, at some point did you hear of or go down yourself to Posusje
8 and encounter some displaced persons or refugees down there?
9 A. I became aware that there was a large number of Muslims -- Muslim
10 refugees housed in a dwelling in Posusje. So I -- I brought one of my
11 teams with me and we went down. I apprised myself of the situation. I
12 walked into the building where the -- that these -- where these people
13 were housed, and to put it mildly I was appalled by the conditions that
14 they were being held in, so much so that I decided to walk across the
15 building where these people were lying, and not proud of myself, but I was
16 hoping the far door could open so I could exit quickly. When I got to the
17 door, it was locked, and I had to turn around and go back the way I came.
18 I was quite ill when I left that building and quite upset at the way these
19 people were being treated.
20 Q. Now, what kind of structure were they in?
21 A. Again, remembering, it appeared to be a large gym.
22 Q. Under whose control, if you will, were these people at that time?
23 A. Well, Posusje is a town in Herzegovina, so they were under the
24 responsibility of the powers that be at the time.
25 Q. Which was?
1 A. The HVO.
2 Q. Were they getting sufficient food, conditions, treatment, whatever
3 they needed there or --
4 A. The word I used to described the whole thing is "appalling", and
5 even looking back on it and even this minute as I think of it's -- I
6 physically got sick when I left there, which I wasn't proud of. And when
7 I sat into my vehicle to calm myself, I looked down at my beautiful white
8 ECMM trousers to find fingerprints of -- people's fingerprints on my
9 trousers as I had exited with speed from it myself. So it was not a nice
11 Q. Do you recall if you briefed Mr. Prlic about this situation in
13 A. Again I refer to a comment I made earlier. In all significant
14 events key leader engagement was a priority, which meant that the key
15 people would be briefed on all those issues. Posusje, for me, was --
16 was -- it was a disgrace and had to be sorted out.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Stringer, I'm sorry, I'm a bit lost and it's
18 certainly my mistake. Could you tell us which part of the indictment
19 covers Posusje?
20 MR. STRINGER: I can direct Your Honour to that after the break.
21 I think it is probably not mentioned specifically. We're talking about
22 late 1992. I don't see this as a specific camp or detention facility
23 incident. However, it, I think, does go to the general background and
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That was my impression too. Thank you.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave since
2 Judge Trechsel has raised this issue. I think it's necessary for us to
3 clarify what is in fact at stake and what were the Muslims doing in
4 Posusje and other places. Who expelled those Muslims and where did they
5 expel them from and who in fact sheltered them and did everything they
6 could to provide those Muslims with shelter, which would also determine
7 how many there were, because these Muslims who were expelled by the Serbs
8 from territory under their control, and they in fact arrived in the
9 territory under HVO control and HVO provided them with the only shelter
10 they were able to provide them with.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Stringer.
12 MR. STRINGER: I can follow up on that, Mr. President.
13 Q. Witness, if you -- if you can, can you give us a rough idea of how
14 many individuals we're talking about?
15 A. I'd say maybe 300, 350.
16 Q. Now, do you know - you indicated these were Muslims - do you know
17 why they were refugees, why they were there in Posusje?
18 A. No. No.
19 Q. All right. And one of the comments that was made was whether
20 everything was being done to provide for them, and I guess my question is,
21 based on what you saw and experienced at the time, did you conclude that
22 everything possible was being done for those people?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Before the answer to that question, we'd like a
24 foundation. What, if anything, did he do. First we just -- if you look
25 at the previous question, first of all, the gentleman didn't bother to ask
1 him how it is that they got there, why they got there, who was responsible
2 for all of that. Now he's being asked to leap into another area without a
3 foundation. Surely my learned friend knows that a foundation is
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understood your point. Yes.
6 And Commandant, in Posusje you saw 300, 350 Muslims who were in a very
7 poor state according to you, and you also provided us with another detail.
8 You said you entered your vehicle and you saw fingerprints on your blue
9 trousers. So we can imagine the scene. But those people who were there,
10 who put them there? Was it the Serbs or was it the HVO? I'm putting this
11 question to you because the Prosecution has asked you whether you spoke
12 about the matter to Mr. Prlic. So when you saw these people, did you ask
13 yourself why they were there, what they were doing there?
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, my response to that was at that
15 particular time my primary concern was for the well-being of those people.
16 I really did not care where they come from, to be brutally honest with
17 you. My priority was to ensure that their circumstances, their
18 surroundings, and their well-being improved as quick as possible. That
19 was my priority.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 Mr. Stringer, perhaps it's time for our break now, unless you want
22 to finish with that subject.
23 MR. STRINGER: I can just finish this perhaps with one last
24 question or two to try to clarify it, Mr. President.
25 Q. Witness, my interest is -- is this: I asked you whether you
1 raised this issue with people within the HVO. Do you know if everything
2 was being done to care for these people by HVO authorities or those down
3 in Posusje?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I object to the form of the question.
5 There's no foundation. What is "everything"? What was possible? What
6 did he do? What does he know? He's being asked to speculate at this
8 MR. STRINGER: I'm asking, Mr. President, what does the witness
9 know based on what he observed. I can break it down.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Break it down step-by-step who, what, where, why,
11 how, and explain. Do it direct, not asking the witness to speculate.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you have said, Mr. Karnavas,
13 step-by-step. So let's take this step-by-step.
14 Commandant, when you saw Mr. Prlic to speak to him about this
15 situation, well, first of all, why did you go to see Mr. Prlic? What's
16 the link between those Muslims and Mr. Prlic in your view?
17 THE WITNESS: I felt that the -- the HVO would be in a position to
18 improve the living conditions of the population of Muslims in Posusje.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And what did you
20 tell Mr. Prlic?
21 THE WITNESS: I cannot remember again specifically what I said,
22 but I can just point out what I have -- the picture I have painted here
23 today of Posusje I'm sure would have been a picture I painted at that
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And do you know what
1 Mr. Prlic told you? Do you remember or not at all? My question is
2 difficult because you're being put questions about something that took
3 place 15 years ago. I do understand that.
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I really do not remember the response
5 to it.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll have a
7 20-minute break now.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
11 Mr. Stringer, you have the floor.
12 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Witness, you have the binder of exhibits there in front of you,
14 and let me ask you to point -- or to turn to Exhibit P 00682. It's
15 towards the front of the binder. We talked about the tension in Mostar,
16 and with this exhibit I want to ask you a little bit more about that.
18 A. I have it.
19 Q. Well, I could respectfully disagree. You might not. If you could
20 turn the page.
21 A. I'm sorry. My fault.
22 Q. No, I'm sorry. Keep going. You did have the translation.
23 A. Dated the 28 of October, 1992.
24 Q. Sorry, you had the translation but not the document itself. I'm
25 seeing you. Keep going.
1 A. 680.
2 Q. 682.
3 A. Okay. 682.
4 Q. Keep going. One more. That's it.
5 A. All right. Apologies.
6 Q. This is a -- well, can you tell us what this is? Could you
7 recognise it?
8 A. I do. This was a poster which was on display on the west side of
9 Mostar in quite a number of locations.
10 Q. What period of time, if you recall, roughly? We've been talking
11 about October, November, December 1992.
12 A. November.
13 Q. Okay. And did you actually find this and take it yourself to keep
14 or --
15 A. Yes. I pulled it down myself.
16 Q. Okay. Do you know or was it your view that it contributed to the
17 tension in Mostar at the time?
18 A. Well, certainly it didn't assist in good relations with the
19 different groupings there. It's -- it worried me when I saw it, I must
21 Q. Now, Witness, I want to ask you just a few questions about what
22 developed there in Mostar - you talked about it in your witness
23 statement - which was a joint commission. Do you know -- or did you know
24 at the time that ECMM had tried to build or -- or make these joint
25 commissions in other areas throughout the former Yugoslavia or was this an
1 idea that they came up with as a way to deal with the situation in Mostar?
2 A. Well, the joint principle of the joint commission, there's nothing
3 new in it. It's been used around the world in different theatres. It's
4 an idea of just bringing the different groupings together and try and
5 lower tension when a problem arises, so preventing some escalation in --
6 in force. The idea of the joint commission in Mostar was, to the best of
7 my knowledge, was - it was Mr. De Castella's idea originally. I can't be
8 a hundred per cent sure about it.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel and witness please pause between
10 question and answer. Thank you.
11 MR. STRINGER:
12 Q. This is the ambassador you're referring to who was in Split?
13 A. Yes, mm-hmm.
14 Q. And it was suggested that you should try to build a joint
15 commission in Mostar?
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. And so then can you tell us about that?
18 A. Well, the idea was that we would get again the key leaders and
19 where -- where a problem existed in that region and I quote one example in
20 Jablanica where there were defensive positions being built by Muslims,
21 that you would go there, identify the problem, and ask the relevant
22 parties to resolve the problem thereby allowing the tension in the area --
23 to reduce the tension in the area. It sounds very simplistic and it is, I
24 suppose, simplistic. When used properly as a tool as we subsequently see
25 for example in Gornji Vakuf, it's quite effective.
1 Q. Do you recall who were the representatives of the joint commission
2 from the respective parties in November of 1992?
3 A. As I say, the joint commission really did not get off the ground
4 in Mostar. The commitment wasn't there towards it. Originally the plan
5 was that Mr. Petkovic and Pasalic would be members of the joint
6 commission, but as I say it really -- it never really got going.
7 Q. You say the commitment wasn't there.
8 A. Just -- commitment from -- from -- it appeared from the HVO at the
9 time wasn't into the joint commission procedure because maybe they didn't
10 see that it was an effective tool.
11 Q. Did the ABiH on the Muslim side, did they appear to support the
12 notion of a joint commission?
13 A. They were more supportive of it.
14 Q. So as a result then the joint commission never really took hold,
15 is that --
16 A. No. No, it really didn't, no.
17 Q. So then was the idea then ultimately abandoned or --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- or --
20 A. Yes. And time moved on and tension increased and other problems
21 then arose. You know. As I've tried to explain to people about Mostar at
22 that particular time we were, as I said, limited assets, limited resources
23 working 16, 17 hours a day. We had a huge amount on our plate, huge
25 Q. During this period again November - December 1992, based on your
1 dealings with the various parties and the situation, did you have any
2 observations about whether the Muslims or the ABiH for their part were
3 wanting to make -- wanting to do things that would contribute to reducing
4 the tension?
5 A. At that particular time it was my opinion based on what I had
6 witnessed that the Muslims were more inclined to support ideas that would
7 assist in reducing the tension in the area.
8 Q. And based on your observations, can you give us an idea of the
9 relative strengths militarily as between the two sides at this time?
10 A. Well, again when you say relative strengths, I mean I cannot give
11 you brigades assets, military assets, but I can say that it appeared to me
12 as a military person that the HVO were a structured organisation with a --
13 with a command and control -- with a command and control system that
14 appeared to work, and they had definite military assets, artillery and
15 armoured vehicles.
16 The Armija on the other side, I was never quite convinced about
17 their command and control capability and I did not see their military
18 assets. I could not compare their artillery or military vehicles to the
20 Q. Witness, was the municipality of Stolac within your area of
22 A. When I -- when I said you there that we were so busy working 16 to
23 18 hours a day, and as I pointed out we had extremely limited resources,
24 both in equipment and personnel, Stolac was an area that took up a lot of
25 my time and my team in Siroki Brijeg's time.
1 Q. Now, did you have one particular experience in Stolac related to
2 the hospital at Kostana?
3 A. Yes. One of my teams, in fact the team from Siroki Brijeg, went
4 on a fact-finding mission -- mission to Stolac, and they -- they had an
5 HVO liaison officer with them, and they went through the town basically
6 carrying out a reconnaissance of the town, people, damage to property,
7 significant events. As they passed the hospital -- the hospital in
8 Stolac, they noticed that there were bed linen on a line at the back of
9 the hospital, so they turned round and went in. They had been informed
10 that the hospital was empty. And they went in and did, as I say, a
11 reconnaissance of the hospital where they found a significant number of
12 people, I think in the region of 120, in quite deplorable conditions
13 housed up in this building. They then came back to Siroki Brijeg and
14 reported that to me.
15 Q. At the time just to set the context, if you will, Stolac was in
16 the area of an active front line with the Serbs; is that correct?
17 A. Absolutely, yes. Yes. In fact, to get into Stolac from -- from
18 our side required going through a number of check-points and then avoiding
19 the threat and the actuality of Serb artillery fire or rapid fire.
20 Q. The check-points were manned by --
21 A. The HVO.
22 Q. And this hospital in this area of Stolac, which -- did it fall
23 within the Serb zone or the HVO zone?
24 A. The hospital was a sanctuary for people who really had nowhere to
25 go. The -- the oldest person in the hospitals was in their 80s and the
1 youngest was a child. Whether it was in the Serb -- or sorry, whether it
2 was in the Croat or the Muslim side, I don't know.
3 Q. You saw that the HVO accompanied your -- your people down there on
4 the first time --
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. -- on that first day. And then did you subsequently go down there
7 on the next day?
8 A. My team asked me to accompany them on the next day and see for
9 myself, because the picture they painted was extremely bleak and I just
10 wanted to see it myself and we went down. And the picture they had
11 painted was precisely what I saw on the ground. I saw people living in
12 the most terrible situation. I saw every tree on the front of the
13 hospital had bullet marks in it. Most of the tops of the trees had been
14 blown away. There were actually no -- very few windows in the building.
15 There was some sort of a local contraption for collecting rainwater as a
16 source of water. There was no medicines. It was -- it was -- it was a
17 sad sight.
18 Q. Did you then raise this issue, the issue of the people at the
19 hospital, with people on the HVO side?
20 A. Again I refer to key leader engagement. This was a significant
21 event. All significant events would be briefed to the relevant
22 authorities to see what action could be taken.
23 Q. Do you know if you raised this with Mr. Bozic in particular?
24 A. Again, I repeat it. It was raised with key -- with the key
1 Q. Okay. Now, did you attempt subsequently to go back down to this
2 hospital and were you able to gain access?
3 A. Once our interest in the hospital became known, quite a number of
4 restrictions were placed on -- attempted restrictions were placed on our
5 movement to the location. However, these were eventually lifted and we
6 got access to the hospital.
7 Q. Were the -- were you -- well, what was your objective in respect
8 of these people? Did you try -- want to get them out of there, evacuated,
9 or aid down to them, or what was then the objective?
10 A. I have very -- I'm a simple soldier and I have simple priorities
11 in life and one of them is called preservation of life. I applied it to
12 my own people -- my own people who worked for me in Bosnia, and I apply it
13 to everybody, irrespective of colour or whatever. These people were
14 living in deplorable conditions. This could not be allowed to continue.
15 And as in Posusje, I would take whatever action I required to improve
16 their livelihood.
17 Q. Right. Do you know if the situation or conditions down there
18 improved at any time?
19 A. I visited the parish priest in Medjugorje because I was aware that
20 at that time quite a significant amount of humanitarian aid was being sent
21 to Medjugorje from the Republic of Ireland, my own country. Ireland, as
22 you're aware, is a Roman Catholic country, and people in Ireland have
23 great affinity for Medjugorje and for the Croat population there.
24 I asked, as politely as I could, that some of this humanitarian
25 aid which was forwarded with the -- with the best of intent from Irish
1 people be given to me and I could transfer it to the hospital in
2 Medjugorje -- in Stolac. Fortunately -- unfortunately, this request
3 wasn't acceded to.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Commandant, when you were at the
5 hospital, do you remember the exact date? Was it November or December?
6 Or perhaps you don't remember at all.
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, unfortunately as I've said time has
8 moved on, 15 years, I actually not a date on it and I'm surprised in a way
9 because it was a defining moment for me when I went to visit that hospital
10 and it has stayed with me ever since I visited that site. So I apologise,
11 I actually can't remember the date.
12 MR. STRINGER:
13 Q. We might be able to narrow down the time frame. Let me direct you
14 to Exhibit 10289 which I believe is at the back of the binder. 10289. So
15 you said you didn't receive support of Father Slavko in Medjugorje.
16 A. I think it would be fair to say that I received no support.
17 Q. All right. And did you receive support from anyone else or anyone
18 on the HVO side on this?
19 A. When I say I received no support, no support.
20 Q. Okay. So -- which then brings me to this Exhibit 10289. Do you
21 recognise this, sir?
22 A. I do.
23 Q. It's a newspaper article --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. -- written by a gentleman named Fisk?
1 A. Robert Fisk, yes.
2 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, please, how this article then
3 figures into the story of the hospital?
4 A. Again, I repeat what I say. In every theatre I've served in, no
5 matter what part of the world, I always -- when I see something wrong,
6 I've tried by whatever means to improve -- to improve the situation.
7 Stolac had a profound effect on me, and you probably hear in my voice it
8 still has today.
9 I was aware that Robert Fisk, who is a renowned reporter for the
10 London Independent, was working in the Kiseljak/Sarajevo area. So I
11 decided to go up and talk to him about the possibility of coming down to
12 the Mostar area and covering a number of stories, particularly the Stolac
13 story, to try and alleviate the suffering of these people. Fisk agreed to
14 my offer and came down and he wrote a -- a very emotional and detailed
15 article on the plight of these people in Stolac. The article we're
16 looking at here is in fact is an article that was subsequently put into
17 the Irish Times but the original article was on the London Independent.
18 Q. You've had a chance to review this article. Does it accurately in
19 your view describe the conditions that were at the hospital at that time?
20 A. I want to make it clear that when I invited Fisk to come down,
21 what I said to him is as follows: He would be taken to a number of areas.
22 He would not be briefed on anything by me or my people. He would see what
23 he see and he would write what he -- what he would subsequently write, and
24 what you see there is his -- his report on what he witnessed. It's -- I
25 really haven't got any -- any criticism of it. I think it's a true and
1 accurate reflection of what went on.
2 Q. Okay. Do you recall having a conversation with Mr. Stojic about
3 the publication of this article?
4 A. The -- the article caused me -- caused me some problems when it
5 was -- when it -- obviously not the Irish Times version but the
6 Independent version, and there was annoyance within the HVO at the
7 highlighting of this in the world international press, and this
8 displeasure was passed on to me.
9 Q. Do you recall who passed that displeasure on to you?
10 A. I think it was Mr. -- Mr. Stojic. I can't be a hundred per cent
12 Q. Okay. Witness, I want to shift gears a little bit and ask you now
13 a series of questions about a different location, that of Gornji Vakuf,
14 farther to the north.
15 Upon your arrival in Western Herzegovina, were those areas -
16 Prozor, Gornji Vakuf - were those areas that presented themselves as areas
17 meriting your attention?
18 A. As I said to you originally, my plan was always to move north of
19 Mostar, to move into these particular areas, and again -- again, repeating
20 what I said at the very start of this, the ECMM presence was there to
21 assist all sides as much as possible, identify problems and try and solve
22 or assist in some way. So when I say my intent was to move north, it was,
23 absolutely to move north. And I was also aware that there were problems
24 in the Prozor-Gornji Vakuf area.
25 Q. Did you go up towards Prozor and Gornji Vakuf during the middle --
1 A. I did.
2 Q. -- of November 1992?
3 A. I did. I took -- we moved to Prozor-Gornji Vakuf, again I think
4 second week of November, again I can't be a hundred per cent sure of the
5 date unfortunately, but it was around that particular time. Again, why we
6 were there: To carry out a reconnaissance of the area, to ascertain what
7 was happening on the ground, to meet, where possible, key leaders again,
8 and again draw a picture of what was going on.
9 Q. Now, we're going to talk about Gornji Vakuf later in the month of
10 January in a little bit but focusing on this, was this your first trip up
11 to Gornji Vakuf then?
12 A. Yep.
13 Q. How did you get there?
14 A. Excuse me. We drove north of Mostar, up to Jablanica and up.
15 Q. Okay. Then after Jablanica it would have been what town or city
16 would --
17 A. Oh, I can't remember.
18 Q. You'd go through Prozor?
19 A. No, sorry. I thought you meant -- no, we arrived in Prozor and
20 then to Gornji Vakuf.
21 Q. At that time, then, on this first visit, were there any
22 check-points or obstacles you needed to pass through?
23 A. Yeah. There were -- there were a number of check-points, but
24 having said that we had no problem getting through those check-points.
25 Q. Now, do you recall what you saw as you passed through Prozor then
1 on your way toward Gornji Vakuf?
2 A. Yes. We saw quite an amount of damage to properties in the -- in
3 Prozor itself. I also identified on the hills around Prozor some
4 artillery pieces. Obviously not firing, just positioned pointing toward
5 the Prozor area and that was it. We moved on then to Gornji Vakuf.
6 Q. Now, at that time did you know which -- those artillery pieces
7 which army or militia those belonged to?
8 A. I take an educated guess, but to answer your question, no.
9 Q. All right. So then you left Prozor and headed up toward
10 Gornji Vakuf. Can you tell us then what you saw when you reached that
12 A. We went up and we got up to the Makljen Ridge overlooking. We
13 tried to find the vantage point or key ground that we could just see
14 Gornji Vakuf from, just to see what was going on. We saw a certain amount
15 of shelling into the Gornji Vakuf area which kind of supported some
16 information that I had received. Black smoke on the ground, you know,
17 after some artillery shells fired into it, and that was it.
18 Q. I should have asked you what was it that caused you to
19 Gornji Vakuf in the first place?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Please pause between question and answer for the
21 sake of interpreters, thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: Sorry. I apologise. The -- I had been approached
23 in -- at a particular time by somebody who said that the ECMM should go to
24 Prozor, Gornji Vakuf area to monitor what was going on.
25 MR. STRINGER:
1 Q. Now, as you left Prozor and headed up toward Gornji Vakuf, did you
2 then pass through additional check-points?
3 A. I can't remember.
4 Q. Do you know which party controlled that area that this Makljen
5 ridge you referred to?
6 A. The -- the HVO.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we've got a map that I'd like to use
9 with the witness when we talk about these areas. I think it will be
10 useful during a later stage of the direct, and what I propose to do is --
11 is ask the witness to use one with the ELMO and then we have copies for
12 the Trial Chamber and counsel as well.
13 It's a little bit tricky because the text is pretty small on this
14 but we'll do our best.
15 Were the other ones distributed yet? Did ...
16 Q. What I'm going to do, Witness, and maybe at this point I could ask
17 the usher to distribute the other maps, and while that's happening,
18 Witness, maybe the best thing is if you just take the map over to the desk
19 there and if you can find this feature that you've just mentioned, which
20 is the Makljen feature. Maybe if you could take a pen and just put a
21 circle around that on the map, then everyone else would at least have an
22 idea of what you're -- if you have a pen.
23 A. Okay. Obviously -- we obviously approached Gornji Vakuf on this
24 road here. Here we have Gornji Vakuf -- Gornji Vakuf here, and the idea
25 was to find high ground around here that we could look into Gornji Vakuf
1 to see what was going on.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. Now, again I cannot remember specifically the location that we
4 stopped, but it was vantage point and it was high ground to allow us to
5 see in.
6 Q. Looking at the map, and you might have to look closely, but are
7 you able to find indicated on there the Makljen Ridge or feature a little
8 bit above Prozor?
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. Do you see it there?
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. Why don't you place a circle around that.
13 A. Is this on --
14 Q. The usher will assist you.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Okay. Now, my question -- the first question on this, Witness, is
17 this appears to me to be rather some distance from Gornji Vakuf itself,
18 and so --
19 A. That's the point I'm making. We -- when I -- when you refer to
20 the Makljen Ridge, we actually moved forward to high ground where we could
21 actually see Gornji Vakuf down below us. I mean, it's -- it was just high
22 ground we had located.
23 Q. Okay. So you could have been above or below --
24 A. Oh, yes, we were absolutely above that. Absolutely.
25 Q. Okay. Can you give a rough indication of where you were?
1 A. I can't remember.
2 Q. Okay. I'll accept that. Are you able to give some indication how
3 close you actually got to the town of Gornji Vakuf?
4 A. All we -- all I can say is that we were on high ground. We could
5 see Gornji Vakuf in the distance and we could ascertain that there was
6 fire into Gornji Vakuf and that was all I wanted.
7 Q. And what type of fire?
8 A. It appeared to be -- it appeared to be artillery fire.
9 Q. Okay.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since we can
12 see the elevations on the map, et cetera, it would be important for the
13 witness to say precisely where it was possible for him to see
14 Gornji Vakuf, from which vantage point it was possible for him to see
15 Gornji Vakuf. Thank you.
16 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, the witness has been asked what was
17 his position, and he says at this point he can't remember exactly where he
18 was. I think that we have to take the answer as it's been given. I asked
19 the witness at line 2 of page 60, can you give a rough indication of where
20 you were. That was my intended question. And the witness says, I can't
21 remember. And then all he can say is that they were on high ground. "We
22 could see Gornji Vakuf in the distance." So the witness is not in a
23 position to indicate it on a map as I've asked him to do.
24 Shall I continue, Mr. President? I wasn't sure.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MR. STRINGER:
2 Q. Witness --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Commandant, when you have a look
4 at the map and you are unable to tell us where you were exactly, but
5 between Makljen and Gornji Vakuf, well, it's more than 5 kilometres
6 between Makljen and Gornji Vakuf, that's for sure. So from the vantage
7 point you were at did you have a view of Gornji Vakuf?
8 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, as I stated I had a view of a section
9 of Gornji Vakuf. It wasn't a total view of the town of Gornji Vakuf. It
10 was just a section. Unfortunately, again, I regret that I can't actually
11 remember precisely where I was, but it's 15 years ago, but I do have the
12 view of Gornji Vakuf in my mind now as I speak to you, and I could see it
13 below me.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. A minor technical
15 question: Did you have binoculars?
16 THE WITNESS: Unfortunately not, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Another question which might help a little. Do
18 you remember whether the place where you were had been accessible by car
19 or whether you walked?
20 THE WITNESS: We parked our vehicle and we walked.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
22 MR. STRINGER:
23 Q. Okay. Witness, now --
24 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I should ask for an IC number for
25 that document.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, an IC number,
3 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour the document just marked
4 shall be assigned Exhibit number IC 693.
5 MR. STRINGER:
6 Q. So, Witness, what we've just been talking about is your initial
7 trip up toward Gornji Vakuf through Prozor in November. I think it was --
8 is that correct? Was it in November?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now then, I'd had like now to talk about events involving
11 Gornji Vakuf then that occurred during the month of January 1993, and were
12 you involved and aware of events in respect of Gornji Vakuf then in
13 January of 1993?
14 A. I was aware that the -- the situation in Gornji Vakuf had
15 deteriorated to the extent that we were being informed that there was
16 armed conflict in Gornji Vakuf and in some of the surrounding towns.
17 Q. Okay. Now, I asked you earlier about information or briefings
18 from UNPROFOR, and did you obtain information from UNPROFOR about the
19 situation that was taking place in Gornji Vakuf?
20 A. I was given which is -- I was given quite a detailed briefing by
21 UNPROFOR on the disposition of forces in the particular area, both HVO and
22 Armija forces in the area, and the determination of the UNPROFOR troops in
23 Gornji Vakuf was that there was quite a serious conflict about to break
25 Q. Do you recall whether the information you got related to the
1 positions of HVO artillery and troops at that time?
2 A. He spoke about HVO troops massing on Makljen as you have pointed
3 it out there. The roads being closed off north of Gornji Vakuf and the
4 town itself being isolated.
5 Q. Okay. Do you know what was the position, the location of the
6 British Battalion, the UNPROFOR, in respect of Gornji Vakuf and the HVO
8 A. The UNPROFOR troops in -- based in Gornji Vakuf, the Cheshire
9 Regiment, had attempted to organise a local cease-fire between the
10 different parties, but unfortunately that failed.
11 Q. So they were engaged in the area at the time?
12 A. Absolutely, yeah.
13 Q. Okay. Now, then on the 18th of January, 1993, do you recall if
14 then you personally went up to Gornji Vakuf?
15 A. On the 18th of January, having been briefed, as I've said, on the
16 situation in Gornji Vakuf, I decided to go up to Gornji Vakuf myself so I
17 would be in a position to carry out a reconnaissance, gain as much
18 information as I could and bring it back with me back to RC Split, because
19 the situation appeared to warrant the intervention at quite a senior level
20 of EC personnel.
21 Q. Now, at this period of time who was the chief or the head of the
22 regional centre in Split?
23 A. Mr. Bousseau.
24 Q. And what country was he from?
25 A. French.
1 Q. So he was your direct superior by this time?
2 A. He was my direct superior. He also had a very keen interest and
3 knowledge of the area and spent quite a significant amount of time in that
4 area. He became extremely involved in what was subsequently to happen in
5 Gornji Vakuf. In fact, when I refer to key leader engagements, he was the
6 key leader in this -- in this.
7 Q. Now, did he accompany you to Gornji Vakuf on the 18th of January?
8 A. No. On the 18th of January, I went -- I went up with a monitor,
9 an interpreter and a driver, and because the situation had deteriorated so
10 much we had to leave our vehicle a good distance from Gornji Vakuf, and we
11 met the UNPROFOR personnel with their Warrior armoured cars who escorted
12 us into the UNPROFOR headquarters in Gornji Vakuf.
13 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber then the situation as you
14 found it at the UNPROFOR headquarters --
15 A. Well --
16 Q. -- at Gornji Vakuf?
17 A. -- The drive from Gornji Vakuf from where we left our armoured
18 vehicle was quite interesting. There was a significant number of
19 artillery round falling, we could hear from the blast. Quite extensive
20 firing, so much so that my interpreter became extremely upset and -- very,
21 very upset and had quite a difficulty placating her when we eventually got
22 to the headquarters.
23 Q. Now, did you know at the time or did you subsequently learn where
24 the shelling was coming from?
25 A. Well, having served in Lebanon for so many years, I was -- I'm --
1 I was aware of what they know -- what they say is incoming and outgoing.
2 This was incoming into the town.
3 Q. Are you able to give us a rough idea how close you were to the
4 town -- or perhaps I should ask you what was the location of the UNPROFOR
5 headquarters then?
6 A. The UNPROFOR headquarters was actually in Gornji Vakuf. It was --
7 from what I remember, it was an old factory that they had just taken over
8 and they were using it as accommodation, workshops for the vehicles and
9 they had a number of rooms allocated for -- for -- as offices.
10 Q. Is it a location you think you could indicate for us on this map?
11 A. No, I -- not at all, no.
12 Q. No?
13 A. No. No.
14 Q. Was it in the town itself?
15 A. Yes. No, it was in the town.
16 Q. Do you know if it was to the south --
17 A. No.
18 Q. -- or to the north of the main road?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Now, once you arrived at the UNPROFOR headquarters, were you able
21 to -- to see more about the shelling where it was coming from or where it
22 was landing, the locations of the shelling?
23 A. There was a serious conflict, a serious -- serious number of
24 rounds landing in Gornji Vakuf, and as I say, I have quite a bit
25 experience in the Middle East and I was even taken aback by the severity
1 of the -- of the incoming. Outgoing there was small-arms fire, but I did
2 not hear artillery or tank fire outgoing.
3 Q. Okay. Now, did you learn at that time or subsequently which party
4 or side was conducting the shelling and also the small-arms fire? I mean,
5 can you give us the relative positions or --
6 A. Well, it was -- it was the view of UNPROFOR operations in
7 Gornji Vakuf that the incoming was from the HVO and the outgoing
8 small-arms was from the Muslim forces.
9 Q. Were you able to get -- do you know roughly the -- when you say
10 shelling, I want to try to be a little more specific on the nature of the
11 weaponry that's being used. I mean, are we talking about rocket
12 launchers, mortars, tanks?
13 A. We're talking about artillery rounds. I do remember some rockets,
14 but definitely artillery.
15 Q. Okay. Now, the areas in Gornji Vakuf where the shelling was
16 landing, did these appear to be -- well, can you describe the location?
17 Was it the town, houses, structures, buildings? What was --
18 A. I was quite surprised that the fall of shot in a lot of cases were
19 into domestic dwellings. Quite a number of -- of -- quite a number of
20 rounds actually fell not too far away from where we were in -- in UNPROFOR
22 Q. And the artillery weaponry that you're describing, can you give us
23 some sense of where that was located --
24 A. No.
25 Q. -- In reference -- in relation to the --
1 A. No.
2 Q. -- town?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now, that is the 18th of January. The following day do you recall
5 what -- what took place? Well, let me just ask you this: On the 18th did
6 you -- did you stay then --
7 A. No.
8 Q. -- spend the night --
9 A. No.
10 Q. -- at the UNPROFOR headquarters or did you return to Mostar?
11 A. We returned back to our coordination centre.
12 Q. Okay. Let me direct your attention then, Witness, to Exhibit
13 P 1215, which is in the binder. Do you recognise this document, sir?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Just turning to the last page, the third page. Does that appear
16 to be the signature of the head of your regional centre, Mr. Bousseau?
17 A. Absolutely.
18 Q. Okay. And this report makes reference to a meeting. Well, it
19 says: "Persons met: Jadranko Prlic, Mr. Arif Pasalic, Mr. Petkovic."
20 You see that?
21 A. I do.
22 Q. Did you attend this meeting?
23 A. I did.
24 Q. Do you recall where the meeting took place?
25 A. I have a feeling it took place in Mr. Prlic's office, but I
1 couldn't guarantee that.
2 Q. And can you tell us - and you're free to read this through if
3 you'd like before you answer more questions - but I would like to ask you
4 just in general the purpose of the meeting, points discussed at it.
5 A. May I read it? Yeah.
6 Q. Yes, take your time.
7 A. Yeah.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't object to the witness
9 refreshing his recollection. I take it now that he's testifying from the
10 document. In other words, he's just going to read the document and then
11 regurgitate whatever's in the document; it's not from his independent
12 memory of any meeting if he did attend the meeting.
13 MR. STRINGER: Mr.--
14 MR. KARNAVAS: A distinction needs to be made. Is he going to be
15 vouching for the gentleman who generated this or is he testifying from his
16 independent memory? Which of the two because it goes to weight.
17 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I'm not going to ask the witness to
18 regurgitate. I'm going to conduct my direct examination and counsel can
19 cross-examination if he has questions that go to weight?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman was in the Office of the Prosecution
21 over the weekend. Obviously they showed him some documents. Now he's
22 asking the witness to read and then he's going to comment on it. Is he
23 refreshing his memory? Is this something that he knows about? What is
24 it? If he's just going to read back what's in the document, then it's not
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, you must have
2 shown him this document to him this weekend. I assume so at least. So
3 the document he read at the time since it was signed by his superior,
4 well, do you want to ask him questions about what one can find in the
5 document or not?
6 MR. STRINGER: Well, I'm not going to ask him to read the document
7 for us, Mr. President, but I think that he's talking about a meeting he
8 had with Mr. Prlic, Mr. Petkovic, Mr. Pasalic. I am going to ask the
9 witness what he remembers about the meeting. I think -- I'm not
10 accustomed to objections in advance of questions so I'm not sure what to
11 say. I asked him to read the document.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue to put your
14 MR. STRINGER:
15 Q. Witness, do you remember this meeting?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. Okay. And at the meeting I want to ask you if you recall: As
18 between Mr. Prlic and Mr. Petkovic, who appeared, based on what you
19 observed, to be in a higher position or a position of greater authority in
20 terms of decision-making?
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Stringer, the witness said that he recalled
22 the meeting. He didn't say that he took part in it. Was he present at
23 the meeting? This question has not yet been answered, and it would be
24 interesting, I think.
25 MR. STRINGER: I thought that I'd asked the question, Mr. -- Or
1 Judge, but I will ask it.
2 Q. Witness, were you present at this meeting?
3 A. Yes, mm-hmm.
4 Q. So this was you and Mr. Bousseau?
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. And Mr. Prlic, Petkovic, Pasalic. Others, do you recall?
7 A. I can't remember if there were others. Interpreter, obviously.
8 Q. All right. Okay. So then coming back to my question, in this
9 meeting, based on what you observed as between Mr. Prlic and
10 General Petkovic who appeared to be in a greater position of
11 decision-making and authority?
12 A. Could you ask the question again, please?
13 Q. Based on what you observed at this meeting, who appeared, if you
14 recall, as between Prlic and Petkovic, did one appear to be in a position
15 of greater authority in relation to the other?
16 A. Mr. Prlic.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise to you
18 and to my colleague, but I believe that it is my duty to draw your
19 attention to the fact that this document shows that we're not dealing with
20 one meeting. Item 1 says "Persons met" and about General Petkovic, my
21 client, it says that he came without having previously announced himself
22 to our meeting with Mr. Pasalic. So one could draw the conclusion that
23 the meeting that Mr. Prlic is one meeting, the one with Mr. Pasalic
24 another one and my client came unannounced to a meeting with Mr. Pasalic.
25 So before we try to discuss this any further, perhaps we should clarify
1 this. I think this would be useful for everyone. Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Stringer. Ask the
3 witness where the meeting was held, who was around the table, who chaired
4 the meeting, and gradually we'll see matters more clearly if he has any
5 recollection. If not, you'll just move on to another subject.
6 MR. STRINGER:
7 Q. Witness, I thought I asked you already. I'll ask you again if I
8 didn't. Are you able to recall the location where the meeting was held?
9 A. As I said when you asked me previously, I felt it was in
10 Mr. Prlic's office.
11 Q. Okay. And this is the location where you had been to meet with
12 him on other occasions as well?
13 A. On the Rondo roundabout, yes.
14 Q. On the Rondo?
15 A. Roundabout.
16 Q. Can you tell us if you recall again - I think it's been asked -
17 who was present at the meeting, and if it was chaired by any individual,
18 who chaired the meeting?
19 A. Unfortunately, again, due to it's so long ago, my only
20 recollection of the meeting is the people listed there and the people I've
21 mentioned. And that's the reason I was reading over this again just to
22 clear up my own mind what was actually -- what was actually said. The
23 people I've listed are the people I remember. If there were other people
24 at it I can't say.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Based on that answer, Mr. President, I'd ask that
1 the witness be instructed not -- or the Prosecutor be instructed not to
2 ask any more questions with respect to this particular document since he
3 doesn't recall the meeting. He doesn't recall the substance. They can
4 bring in the gentleman that generated this document to go into details.
5 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I don't think that's the witness's
6 testimony at all. Though it doesn't surprise me that counsel would like
7 to pass over this document and this meeting --
8 MR. KARNAVAS: We have no problems with the document itself. I
9 suggest that my learned friend look at the answer. He says,
10 "Unfortunately again due to so long ago my only recollection of the
11 meeting is the people listed there and the people I've mentioned." And
12 that's why I'm reading it over again."
13 He read it over the weekend, obviously it didn't refresh his
14 memory. Mr. Stringer allowed him to read it again, it still hasn't
15 refreshed his memory. He has no memory, other than the people. So, what
16 I'm saying, Mr. President, is he doesn't have an independent
17 recollection. The document, obviously, is going to be coming in. But
18 unless he can demonstrate that he has an independent recollection of the
19 meeting, he cannot comment about the substance of the meeting.
20 MR. STRINGER: Let me suggest that counsel is putting words into
21 the mouth of the witness which is unfair and which have not been said by
22 the witness. I asked the witness, who was at the meeting. That's what he
23 was talking about in terms of his recollection, who was present. I'll ask
24 it again.
25 Q. Can you tell us the names of the people whom you remember were
2 A. Prlic, Petkovic, Pasalic, Bousseau, Lane and an interpreter.
3 Q. You remember that?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: That's not in dispute. What is in dispute is the
6 substance and that's what I am trying to say and I think Mr. Stringer is
7 deliberately misleading the Trial Chamber. The record speaks for itself;
8 he indicated that he has no recollection, other than the people who
9 attended the meeting. We can agree to that. There is no dispute. The
10 document will be coming in.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll put the question to the
12 witness myself.
13 Sir, you said that there was a meeting. Fine. As far as you can
14 remember -- well, can you remember the people present at the meeting, the
15 purpose of the meeting, and the questions or issues that were dealt with
16 at the meeting? As far as you can remember. Don't look at the document.
17 Look at me.
18 THE WITNESS: Sir, Your Honour, the purpose of the meeting was
19 discuss to clearly the situation in Gornji Vakuf. It was an attempt to --
20 to terminate the hostility in Gornji Vakuf. My reason for being at that
21 meeting was I was being tasked clearly by Mr. Bousseau to go to
22 Gornji Vakuf with whatever was agreed at that meeting and see could it be
23 implemented in Gornji Vakuf. Of that I'm clear.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the meeting
25 referred to in the document and as far as you can remember, was it
1 Mr. Prlic who took the floor first or did someone else present the
2 situation? Did Mr. Pasalic take the floor? Did you take the floor? Do
3 you have any recollection of this or not? If not, just say so.
4 THE WITNESS: As I think I've said already, Your Honour, my
5 recollection is the reason for the meeting was to terminate the
6 hostilities in Gornji Vakuf. My purpose at being at the meeting was to
7 take whatever was agreed at that meeting to Gornji Vakuf and implement it.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: It's not answering the question, Mr. President, and
9 I'm glad that you asked the question because a previous question was who
10 seemed to have more authority. Then it had to be pointed out that
11 Mr. Petkovic actually came into the meeting later on. So in fairness, the
12 witness doesn't have a recollection, but I don't think -- but he needs to
13 answer the question directly.
14 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, if counsel says enough times that
15 the witness doesn't remember, that doesn't make it the truth. This
16 witness is saying he remembers the meeting. He remembers the people
17 there. Maybe not all of them, but he remembers the one that mattered,
18 including counsel's client.
19 Now, I'm going to stay with this as long as it takes and I will
20 sit out every intervention were my learned friend in order to fully flesh
21 out what this meeting's about based on the witnesses recollection.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, counsel.
23 MR. KHAN: I hope I can assist. It appears that perhaps we are
24 belabouring over a needless point. As I understand it, my learned friend
25 Mr. Karnavas is not disputing the alleged meeting itself, and of course my
1 learned friend from the Prosecution is perfectly entitled to put
2 questions. I think the confusion, with respect, appears to have arisen
3 because rather than, first of all, ascertaining the independent
4 recollection of the witness, we have muddied the waters to some extent
5 with this document.
6 Your Honour, of course a document can be used for a number of
7 purposes, but absent a clear recollection it can either note -- be used
8 to -- well, for two types. Either evidence of past recollection recorded
9 or present recollection revived. So it's not clear if the witness's
10 memory is being revived from looking at this document so that he therefore
11 vividly recollects the incident that he had previously forgotten,
12 understandably, the details 15 years ago, or if in fact he can merely
13 state that this is a document which appears to come from -- from the
14 sender of the document and it was made contemporaneously at the time.
15 Your Honour, I don't know if that assists matters, but it appears
16 the dispute is not about the meeting; it's simply about the details. Can
17 the witness recollect it independently of this document. Of course, you
18 have the document yourselves and it's a matter of weight in conjunction
19 with the rest of the evidence you hear. I don't know if that can help put
20 us back on track, but I certain hope so.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You have
22 said everything. You have said it all. What counts is to learn, as
23 Mr. Khan says, whether the witness has a recollection of the meeting. If
24 not, then we can look at the document. We have to disconnect the witness
25 from the document. First ask him questions about his recollection. If he
1 doesn't remember, then we can refresh his memory by saying on page X or
2 paragraph Y it is stated such-and-such. That is how you should proceed,
3 Mr. Stringer. Otherwise, there are objections and everybody is wasting
4 time. We need to know who did what, what was the purpose of the meeting.
5 He has told us. What was said? Who did what? He either remembers or
6 not. If he doesn't remember, we have to rely on the document, which I
7 think is already admitted, I don't know, but it seems to me that I've
8 already seen this document.
9 MR. STRINGER:
10 Q. Well, Witness, you're hearing all of this and maybe it's just more
11 efficient for me to ask you to tell us what do you remember about the
12 meeting as you sit here today?
13 A. Well, I think I've already said the purpose of the meeting was to
14 try and solve the problem of Gornji Vakuf with the key leaders. What came
15 out at the meeting or what was meant to come out at the meeting was that I
16 as the -- the head of the coordinating centre in Grude would take the
17 agreed deliberations of all sides at this particular meeting, take with
18 them with me to Gornji Vakuf and implement them on the ground. So the
19 priority, the purpose of the meeting was to diffuse the situation in
20 Gornji Vakuf.
21 Q. Now I want to ask you again if you remember this as you sit here
22 today, I asked you already your observations, your recollection as to the
23 relative position as between Mr. Prlic and Petkovic. Is that something
24 that you remember to this day?
25 A. My comments on the -- the question you've asked me would be based
1 on my experience of these people throughout my stay there as opposed to
2 just one meeting.
3 Q. Okay. And well, let's just continue with that then. Based on
4 your experience throughout these months that you spent interacting with
5 Mr. Prlic and Mr. Petkovic, can you tell us your view in terms of the
6 respective positions of authority and decision-making?
7 A. Well, I think I already have. I said that it appeared to me that
8 Mr. Prlic was the most influential person.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, at the bottom of page 1, just to come back to
10 what you said there is a reference to ECMM head of Grude called to monitor
11 delivery of the order. Is that a reference to you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. That was my purpose at being at that meeting was to bring that
15 order with me to Gornji Vakuf.
16 Q. Now, if you would turn the page, please. And I want to direct you
17 to item --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, the document was
19 admitted on the 15th of May, 2006, through Witness Beese. So this is a
20 document that has already been admitted into evidence. So the content is
21 familiar to the Chamber.
22 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President, and that's why -- and sincerely
23 I'm just trying to pull out of the document those parts of it that relate
24 to the witness's own story and evidence, and I just have a couple more
25 points on this that I'd like to take him to with your permission. But I
1 don't intend to go through this document in detail. But the witness was
2 present at the meeting.
3 Q. And on that I would just like to ask the witness if he recalls, as
4 reflected in item C, there is a reference to a decision. "Mr. Prlic said
5 the HVO would not do anything to enact by force the decision sent to the
6 BiH units."
7 Do you recall what that decision was about? Do you know what
8 that's a reference to?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Let me -- go ahead.
11 A. No, I don't, no.
12 Q. Do you recall whether -- well, let me direct your attention to
13 Exhibit P 01155.
14 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, this one's already in evidence as
15 well. I'm not going to go into it in great detail.
16 Q. 1155. It's toward the beginning, I think, of the binder.
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. It's a decision relating to subordination of units in different
19 places. It's over the signature of Mr. Prlic.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, at this point I'd like some
21 foundation. Did the gentleman see it? If he hasn't seen it, I would
22 object on the grounds stated by Mr. Scott last week. We attempted to do
23 this last week there were lots of suggestions by Mr. Scott that this is an
24 improper technique. I draw the Court's attention that when the
25 Prosecution does it, it seems to be okay, when the Defence does it the
1 Prosecution objects. So in keeping with the Prosecution's own procedure,
2 unless the gentleman saw this decision, is familiar with this decision
3 then he cannot discuss the decision.
4 MR. STRINGER: Let me ask the question, Mr. President. Maybe
5 we'll see what the witness can do with it.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 MR. STRINGER: Again, I don't know how to respond to objections in
8 advance of the question.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He hasn't seen the document, but
10 on the other hand, perhaps he's familiar with the contents of the
11 document. So before showing him the document, ask him the question
12 regarding the contents, because here we see certain regions mentioned and
13 this may remind him of something. And before going into the details,
14 perhaps one should start with the more general issue.
15 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Witness, based on your conversations with the HVO people that
17 you've mentioned, the situation in Gornji Vakuf, did you have any
18 awareness at the time of any linkage between events in Gornji Vakuf and
19 issues involving subordination within cantons under Vance-Owen?
20 A. I was aware of concerns with people in relation to subordination.
21 I had -- I had -- this document you refer to I had not seen, but I was
22 aware of the increase of tension on the ground. And just to repeat, my
23 function out there was on the ground. So I was witnessing this tension
24 increasing on the ground.
25 Q. So was tension then linked to an issue involving this issue of
2 A. There was -- there was grave concern with -- with the Muslim side
3 in relation to -- to potential subordination.
4 Q. At the end of Mr. Bousseau's report he's recounting some
5 statements made by Mr. Pasalic, but there's a reference to units and
6 equipment of the Croatian army, the HV, and I wanted to ask you whether
7 you observed or encountered Croatian army units or equipment during the
8 course of your tour in the region.
9 A. Yeah, on a number of occasions, only in Mostar. We observed some
10 Croatian army vehicles.
11 Q. At the end of this there's also a reference to humanitarian aid
12 convoys being blocked, and I wanted to ask you whether humanitarian aid
13 convoys were an issue on your -- in your remit and whether you raised any
14 issues like that with the HVO people.
15 A. There -- there was an ongoing problem with the transport of
16 humanitarian aid where vehicles were being stopped and turned back or just
17 generally being held there for inordinate lengths of time. This was an
18 ongoing problem which I would deal with on an ongoing basis. That's the
19 reason Bousseau raised it.
20 Q. Let me ask you to turn to Exhibit P 1238. In this -- in this
21 earlier report of Mr. Bousseau that we were just looking at, you indicated
22 that you were the ECMM person who was to deliver an order on the
23 cease-fire; is that correct?
24 A. Correct, yes.
25 Q. All right. Now, do you recognise Exhibit number 1238?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What is that?
3 A. This was the -- the agreement that was drawn up, the order for
4 the -- for the -- that I was to bring with me to Gornji Vakuf that all
5 sides were meant to act on.
6 Q. So this order was the result of the meeting held on the 19th?
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, please, then, what you did in
9 order to carry out your function in taking this order and working to put
10 it into effect?
11 A. I think time moved on in that Mr. Bousseau came to Gornji Vakuf
12 himself with -- with General Petkovic and Pasalic and briefed -- and
13 discussed with the local commanders the -- the application of this order
14 on the ground.
15 Q. All right. Just maybe to set the time frame given. This document
16 is dated the 20th of January.
17 A. Was it the 21st? It was very soon after that.
18 Q. Okay. So we have the meeting with the Mr. Prlic, Petkovic, and
19 Pasalic on the 19th; correct?
20 A. That's right, yeah.
21 Q. And then the 20th is the date that this order results. And then
22 you're saying very soon after that then the order was --
23 A. Yeah. Was -- was brought up by Mr. Bousseau and the other people.
24 Q. Did you return to Gornji Vakuf --
25 A. Mm-hmm.
1 Q. -- with Mr. Bousseau at that time?
2 A. Yeah.
3 Q. And with Messrs. Pasalic and Petkovic?
4 A. Yes. We escorted them up.
5 Q. How is that transportation up to Gornji Vakuf carried out?
6 A. Well, they came in their own vehicles, in the convoy with the ECMM
7 vehicles, if I remember, and we drove -- we -- in fact, it was quite
8 interesting. When we were stopped at a number of check-points once the
9 people at the check-points recognised the seniority of the people in the
10 vehicles in relation to Pasalic and Petkovic, the barriers lifted and we
11 went straight through.
12 Q. Based on what you saw, did General Petkovic have trouble getting
13 through any HVO check-points?
14 A. No. That's why I say it was a very smooth operation.
15 Q. Now, let me direct your attention now to Exhibit 1303. And do you
16 recognise this document?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Is this a report again of Mr. Bousseau?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I want to direct your attention to -- well, just to continue on
21 with the chronology then. In paragraph 1 Mr. Bousseau indicates that he
22 chaired on the 21st --
23 A. Okay.
24 Q. -- in BritBat Gornji Vakuf a meeting to establish the conditions
25 of the cease-fire, et cetera. Do you see that?
1 A. Yes. Yes, that's true.
2 Q. Did you attend that meeting?
3 A. Yes, absolutely.
4 Q. And this cease-fire is that the one that is --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- the agreement that we were just looking at?
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. Now do you recall: Did the cease-fire hold?
9 A. No. No. No. The cease-fire -- it held for a short period of the
10 time, but firing resumed then again.
11 Q. And it's indicated here then on the next day in the morning rounds
12 of artillery from the HVO side began. Do you see that?
13 A. Yes. It's correct.
14 Q. You were present at that time?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And what was your location? Were you at the UN --
17 A. UNPROFOR headquarters.
18 Q. Can you tell the Judges, please, what you recall about the
19 shelling that you saw on that day?
20 A. Well, it -- it was similar to the shelling we had seen before in
21 that it was -- it was into the centre -- into the town of Gornji Vakuf.
22 In fact, quite close again to the UNPROFOR headquarters. A significant
23 amount of shelling.
24 Q. Did you have dealings yourself with Colonel Siljeg in respect of
25 this cease-fire and the negotiations?
1 A. Not at this particular time.
2 Q. Okay. At what point did you begin having dealings with
3 Colonel Siljeg?
4 A. Over the next number of weeks I attempted to reactivate the
5 cease-fire, so with the -- with the approval of -- of Mr. Bousseau, we
6 formed what had been listed back there as -- as a joint commission, and we
7 tried to get all relevant parties to sit around a table to thrash out an
8 effective cease-fire that would last. I ensured that the people who were
9 at the table were in a position to negotiate for their different sides.
10 In other words, one of the first questions I asked both sides at that --
11 that particular time was are you in a position to sign an agreed
12 cease-fire deal? Both sides told me they were, so the negotiations
13 continued, and continued for quite an extensive period of time.
14 Q. And as those negotiations continued, did both sides support the --
15 the making and the implementation of a cease-fire?
16 A. The -- my experience in these deliberations, and we're talking
17 about 12, 13 hours a day around a table, was that the Muslim side were
18 clear in their objective, that they wished to get a cease-fire as soon as
19 possible, and the -- the Croat side were very slow to agree to a
21 Q. In this document, Mr. Bousseau indicates there's a political
22 purpose close to ethnic cleansing that is linked to this operation in
23 Gornji Vakuf, and I wanted to ask you whether at that point or at any
24 point you shared that view?
25 A. From a military perspective and remember I'm a military man, the
1 action in Gornji Vakuf was a well-coordinated military -- well thought out
2 military tactic. I would certainly -- from what I saw on the ground I
3 would not argue with that statement.
4 Q. Let me direct your attention to Exhibit -- well, let's me ask you
5 this then I'll take you to the exhibit. Do you recall during this period
6 of time, then, the issue of Muslims -- you say ethnic cleansing then. Was
7 there an issue relating to Muslims who were displaced, those who became
8 refugees as a result of this operation?
9 A. We're kind of moving on a bit there. When -- when the cease-fire
10 deal was agreed and signed off on, one very significant area that had to
11 be dealt with was the number of people who had been moved from their homes
12 and whose homes now were occupied by other people. The only comment I can
13 make on that is it was something I was aware of, but it was also
14 something, and again I'd like you just to see -- to -- to remember that
15 I'm talking about working 16, 18 hours a day, seven days a week, trying to
16 keep the tension in the area down so that we didn't get a return to what
17 we had. So issues like that I put on the long finger. I tried to deal
18 with other specific issues like humanitarian aid and issues like that, but
19 I was aware of it, yes.
20 Q. All right. You said that you put those on the long finger. Maybe
21 for the interpreters and the languages --
22 A. Sorry, yes. I beg your pardon. What I mean by that is that once
23 we had a cease-fire in -- activated and effective, I had a number of other
24 items on the agenda which I felt took precedence over what you just asked
1 Q. Now, on the second page of 1303 there's a reference to a meeting
2 that Mr. Bousseau had with Mr. Prlic. It says: "I went this morning to
3 Mostar." Do you see that? A private interview with Mr. Prlic. Now, this
4 document is dated the 25th of January. My question is whether you were
5 present at that meeting.
6 A. No. No, no. No.
7 Q. At any time did you -- well, Mr. Bousseau had returned to Mostar
8 throughout this period, the long days. Were you then now staying,
9 sleeping in Gornji Vakuf?
10 A. The -- the focus for ECMM had shifted now from Siroki Brijeg right
11 up to Gornji Vakuf.
12 Q. So you were staying there then.
13 A. Yep.
14 Q. Okay. Let me take you to Exhibit P 1309. There's a reference in
15 here -- well, before we do that, I apologise, let me just take you back to
16 1303, which is the document you were just looking at, second page.
17 Do you know whether -- because you mentioned that, despite the
18 cease-fire, HVO shelling began again on the 22nd. Do you know, did you
19 ever hear in Gornji Vakuf about any additional orders that had gone out
20 for the HVO and Siljeg to stop conducting military operations after the
22 A. I can't remember.
23 Q. Okay. 1309. Paragraph 16 on the third page of four.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, before we go into that, you know, I
25 see what my clever colleague is trying to do, but you have to go back to
1 1303 where it says: "Order was given," in paragraph 4. "Order was
2 given." The gentleman just indicated that he was unaware of any order.
3 Now we go to the next document and now here somebody else drafts
4 that document where it says: "He had ordered." Obviously there is a
5 disconnect. Now, I can cover this on cross, but I think in all fairness
6 and in the interest of justice to Dr. Prlic this should be pointed out,
7 and I see that my clever friend has conveniently skipped over that part
8 after the gentleman indicated that he has no recollection of any order
9 being given or being issued.
10 MR. STRINGER: Well, again, I don't know what the objection is.
11 Again, I think cross-examination is the time to raise most of what's been
12 raised by counsel. I'm interested in --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To see things clearly,
14 Commandant, I'm going to focus on the situation. We have seen a whole
15 series of documents. There is a document of the 15th of January, which
16 indicates that -- that there's going to be the subordination of units.
17 There are units of the BH army that are going under the control of the
18 HVO, and HVO units that are now going to be subordinated to the BiH. And
19 this document was signed by Mr. Prlic himself. Then there is the
20 implementation of all this.
21 The situation, according to the document that we have just
22 reviewed, Gornji Vakuf appeared to be encircled by the HVO artillery, and
23 in Gornji Vakuf there are the two factions, the HVO and the BiH. UNPROFOR
24 and the European mission are endeavouring to achieve a generalise the
25 cease-fire, and the last document, 1303, signed by Cikotic, Colonel
1 Siljeg, Bousseau, Stewart, puts in place the dispositions, and I note that
2 in paragraph F, as of February the 1st, the ABiH and HVO units which are
3 not normally stationed in Gornji Vakuf must withdraw by February the 1st.
4 All this appears to be functioning. Why is it not functioning?
5 You who were present there, why was it not functioning when it would
6 appear that at the highest political level there is the will to achieve a
7 cease-fire. UNPROFOR and the European mission are signing a document, and
8 nevertheless there is shooting that continues. In your opinion, why did
9 this not function?
10 THE WITNESS: It's my opinion that the -- the -- the HVO commander
11 of that particular area was not inclined to agree to a cease-fire.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There we are. We come to the
13 heart of the matter.
14 You say that in your opinion the HVO commander for this region --
15 who was he then? Was it Colonel Blaskic or who?
16 THE WITNESS: Siljeg.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Siljeg. And why is he not
18 obeying the military and political leadership of the HVO? Who would you
19 interpret this, the fact that Colonel Siljeg is not obeying?
20 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I think that's really a question I
21 can't answer.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your view -- you can't answer
23 it but, yes, in your opinion the person responsible would be
24 Colonel Siljeg.
25 THE WITNESS: He was the military commander.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We shall continue.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Before we continue, just to clarify one point,
3 Mr. President. It is our contention and we have heard evidence that the
4 events in Gornji Vakuf occurred, or there was conflict before January
5 15th. My objection, and I wanted to draw this to the Court's attention,
6 which is on -- based on these two documents is the one document where the
7 gentleman did not attend the meeting it says "Order was given." Then he
8 was being directed to another document, 1309, where there it says, "Prlic
9 said he had ordered the HVO."
10 Where the Prosecution is going is they're trying to demonstrate
11 somehow that Mr. Prlic has command and control over the military, and what
12 I wanted to point out to the Trial Chamber is that, first, the gentleman
13 wasn't there at the meeting. Secondly, he wasn't aware of any order.
14 Three, that the previous document which was conveniently skipped over by
15 the Prosecution says order was given, not attributing it to Dr. Prlic.
16 And then this other document that was not generated by Mr. Bousseau but by
17 somebody else who summarised all these things, somehow ended up saying
18 that Prlic said he had ordered, and that was my point. And since the
19 gentleman was not present, he's unable to comment regarding that. I
20 anticipated the line of questioning from the Prosecutor because I'm as
21 prepared as he is and I know where he's going -- I think I know where he's
22 going. And if I've erred he can skip over that part and move on to some
23 other area of questioning.
24 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Witness, the point I wanted to make here was whether by this
1 period of time, this document being the 25th, the earlier document was
2 dated the 20 -- I'm sorry, this one, 1309, is the 26th I believe. I
3 correct that. It's the 25th. As well as 1303. They're both dated the
4 25th of January. My question is whether by that point actually the -- the
5 conflict had largely settled down, tension reduced, and was no longer as
6 active or intense as it had been earlier.
7 A. Yes. The area was quieter, no question about it, but it required
8 a formal cease-fire agreement.
9 Just on the question that's been raised here about the
10 different -- the different orders. It's fair to say that there were a
11 number of orders issued which were not acted on. In the end it was
12 another order that was produced that was signed by all the different
13 parties involved to bring the cease-fire to Gornji Vakuf. None of
14 those -- and again I just want to refer to the point, that as the person
15 on the ground putting in the 16, 18 hours a day, these orders were
16 really -- they weren't working, and they really weren't relevant. So when
17 we got the joint commission together with the relevant people authorised
18 to sign on the dotted line, that's when we finalised the correct
19 cease-fire agreement.
20 Q. Just to finish this one off because it's -- it's been raised or
21 it's been anticipated where I'm going, and so let me just put the question
22 to you directly. Based on your observations and your meetings, again with
23 Mr. Prlic, Petkovic, did Mr. Prlic exercise command and control over the
24 HVO military?
25 A. I said from the outset that I could never see a distinction
1 between the -- the military side and the political side. To me it was
2 just one mix. I said that from the very beginning, and that was my
4 Q. Did he ever indicate to you that he did not exercise control
5 over --
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour. The question is unfair.
7 Did he ever ask him. That's the real question, because -- simply because
8 I don't go around saying what I cannot do doesn't mean that I am doing it
9 or incapable of doing it. The -- was the question asked do you exercise
10 effective command and control? That's the question. And then if there
11 was an answer, yes or no, we can proceed.
12 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, counsel's free to answer -- ask any
13 question he likes on cross-examination. I --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I think the question is unfair.
15 MR. STRINGER: I promise I won't object when he does ask --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: No, the question is unfair and the gentleman knows
17 that. In what context?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Commandant, we've seen the
19 entire process, and apparently didn't function, obviously it didn't
20 function. When you would meet Mr. Bousseau at UNPROFOR with members of
21 the international community, as a member of the military you would assess
22 the situation. As a professional you must have assessed the situation,
23 and you must have asked yourself why things were not functioning, and at
24 that point in time Mr. Bousseau or someone else must have referred to the
25 chain of command. Did you have any meetings in order to identify the
1 problems, in order to find out why Colonel Siljeg wasn't obeying? Did you
2 ever have such briefings or debriefings amongst yourselves in order to
3 determine who in fact exercised power, whether it be military or political
4 power? Were any such meetings held in order to identify the problems.
5 When a system doesn't function it is because there are certain objective
6 reasons for that. So did you undertake such work?
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, to -- to answer that question and
8 without boring you again, I just want to reiterate that that time in
9 Gornji Vakuf was a time of great stress, long hours of work, and the
10 objective being to bring a cease-fire there. I really didn't have the
11 opportunity, as you've asked, to sit down with Mr. Bousseau or anybody and
12 to reflect on the chain of command or who was issuing decisions for who.
13 My job was to bring a cease-fire to that area so we could get people --
14 lives back to some sort of normality. I identified Colonel Siljeg part of
15 the problem that we had to deal with and face up. But to answer your
16 question directly, the answer is no, I did not have any meetings to
17 discuss that subject that you asked.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So when the Prosecution asks you
19 whether Mr. Prlic had military responsibility, you can't answer that
20 question; is that right?
21 THE WITNESS: What I -- what I said, Your Honour, was -- and this
22 wasn't just based on Gornji Vakuf, it was based on my experience from my
23 first days in Mostar up to Gornji Vakuf. It appeared to me that for
24 whatever reason there was no distinction in the structure of the HVO
25 between the political side and military side. It seemed to be one mix
1 together. That was my opinion.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll have our break
3 now as it's 20 to 6.00. We will have a 20-minute break.
4 --- Recess taken at 5.38 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll resume the hearing now.
7 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, before I start with the witness I
8 should just do two things now because the witness is of the -- has the
9 understanding that court tomorrow is in the afternoon and it's in the
10 morning, and I thought I would just inform of witness because I
11 misinformed him this weekend about tomorrow.
12 So we start 9.00 sharp tomorrow morning, for your information.
13 THE WITNESS: I'll wait for my room for the afternoon.
14 MR. STRINGER: And the second point was that I need to ask -- I'm
15 going to be tendering this map into evidence which the witness placed the
16 circle on. It's not a pivotal document but I think it's necessary for the
17 witness to sign the map in order for me to tender it into evidence. It's
18 IC 693.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Do sign it.
20 MR. STRINGER:
21 Q. Witness, just a couple of last questions on the Gornji Vakuf
22 conflict. You indicated that at some point a cease-fire agreement was
23 implemented with the agreement of both parties; correct?
24 A. To get to the end of this -- this saga, I pointed out that while
25 we have a lot of documents here with cease-fire options in them, they
1 didn't work. In the end, the joint commission, as I pointed out to you,
2 sat, and I had both sides at the table, both sides in a position to sign
3 off on what we agreed at the table. So after extensive negotiations,
4 deliberations going on for days and for hours, we eventually had a
5 document, a cease-fire document, which was -- was agreed by both sides of
6 the table that it would be signed.
7 When I asked the Croatian side, the HVO side, to sign the
8 document, they informed me that they couldn't sign it because
9 Colonel Siljeg would have to come and he'd sign it, having already stated
10 that we didn't need his presence.
11 Q. Now, do you -- can you tell us approximately what the period of
12 time is on this? We know that late January --
13 A. We're --
14 Q. -- was the time in which the --
15 A. We're --
16 Q. -- the active conflict ended.
17 A. Middle February I would say.
18 We -- eventually Colonel Siljeg arrived at the -- at our location
19 and was not impressed with the document. So he -- he balled the document
20 up in his hand and sent it over in my direction, and I was quite incensed
21 because I felt it was an attack on the European Commission as opposed to
22 me personally. I explain the hard work that we'd all put in in trying to
23 draft a document which was agreed by both sides and that I really felt
24 that what he had just done was unacceptable. So that ended that meeting,
25 and the next day I became aware of the fact that Colonel Siljeg attended a
1 meeting in Kiseljak outside Sarajevo with UNPROFOR. So I took myself over
2 to that meeting, which was a very high-level meeting. I pointed out that
3 we were on the verge of a peace deal in Gornji Vakuf, an historic peace
4 deal really, and that I had more or less all sides agreed to this and
5 Colonel Siljeg was the only problem.
6 I left that meeting, and as I drove back to Gornji Vakuf my
7 vehicles were passed by Colonel Siljeg and his staff, and on my return to
8 UNPROFOR headquarters, to the joint commission office, I found
9 Colonel Siljeg with maps, JNA maps, indicating the locations of both the
10 HVO and Armija troops in the area, and he was issuing orders to all sides
11 for the withdrawal of forces, the closing in of defensive positions, and
12 the complete withdrawal of -- of all forces. Quite an impressive military
13 response, I must say. As a military man standing there watching this
14 happen it was very impressive because he was not only controlling his own
15 people, he was controlling the Armija also and they were taking orders
16 from him.
17 So then we got the movement back of the forces, the filling in of
18 the defensive positions, and then we knew after that then we could start
19 doing some serious work in Gornji Vakuf in that we could now bring some
20 sort of stability to the area knowing that all these external forces had
21 been removed from the area.
22 Q. Now, there has been some discussion about the extent to which the
23 HVO chain of command was functioning in respect of Colonel Siljeg, and so
24 my question is do you know whether in all of your dealings with him
25 whether he was acting pursuant to orders or was he acting on his own? Do
1 you know what is responsibility for his conduct?
2 A. I have to say as a military man, again, Colonel Siljeg impressed
3 me as a military person. To answer your question bluntly, I don't know.
4 Q. And then in respect of the HVO operation militarily in
5 Gornji Vakuf as you saw it during this period, did that appear to be an
6 organised, planned operation?
7 A. The military assets available to the HVO in the area as I saw them
8 being withdrawn and as I saw Siljeg's plan come to fruition were
10 Q. What about -- I'm not talking about the withdrawal now so much as
11 the lead-up, the preparation, the execution of the military operation in
13 A. As I said to you, Siljeg, he's a professional soldier.
14 Q. My question was more about the HVO itself and the extent to which
15 it performed or executed the military operation. Can you comment on that?
16 A. Effectively.
17 Q. Now, after the cease-fire was ultimately agreed, the withdrawal
18 began, you mentioned filling in or dismantling defensive --
19 A. Positions.
20 Q. -- positions. That was part of the agreement?
21 A. Yeah.
22 Q. As the situation then improved were you in a position to go into
23 the town of Gornji Vakuf and to acquaint yourself with the extent to which
24 the damage and the effects of the shelling that you've talked about?
25 A. When we had -- when Colonel Siljeg had completed the withdrawal of
1 forces, he approached me and said that he had completed, as he said, his
2 part of the deal, whereupon I invited him to come for a walk into central
3 Gornji Vakuf to witness the town, and he refused that offer. I went in,
4 and the damage to Gornji Vakuf was -- was substantial. But I just want to
5 refer to what I have said before. The functioning of the joint commission
6 at that point was crucial, because now we had withdrawal of the forces.
7 The defensive and all the other stuff was removed. The focus and the
8 energy now had to be done maintaining a level of calm in the area by
9 providing the -- by providing all sides with what they required, which at
10 that time was humanitarian aid and all the rest of it, and that's where
11 the next phase of the joint commission put its energy into.
12 Q. You've said that the damage in Gornji Vakuf was substantial. I
13 wonder if you could just give us more details about the nature of the
14 destruction, what types of structures, et cetera.
15 A. It was normal dwelling houses, invariably with artillery round,
16 destruction as in roofs blown off, walls knocked out, and what you
17 normally see in a conflict.
18 Q. Exhibit P 9137 in the binder. Just to sort of tie off the joint
19 commission. Do you recognise this photograph?
20 A. Now, this photograph was taken some time after the -- the start of
21 the joint commission's activities in that you can see on the left-hand
22 side as you look at it the -- the Muslim representatives and the Croat on
23 the right talking to each other. We started that joint commission where
24 people wouldn't sit at the same table. So to reach that stage there
25 was -- as I've said before, my function, my purpose in life in these
1 missions is to try and assist people where required and that what you're
2 looking at that gave me great personal pleasure from the point of view
3 where we went from serious situation to that, where we actually got people
4 to sit down and talk and try and improve the lives of the people in the
6 Q. Is that you seated at the head of the table?
7 A. I -- I chaired -- I chaired -- for the number of weeks I chaired
8 every meeting of the joint commission every day, every meeting for hours.
9 Q. And then there's another gentleman who is dressed in what appears
10 to be the EC white?
11 A. Mr. Beese. Chris Beese, and you can see the empty seat to my left
12 shoulder, as you're looking at it. He would normally sit there as my
14 Q. I know it's been a long time. Are you able to identify any of the
15 other people who appear in this photo?
16 A. It has been an awful long time.
17 Q. Okay. Witness, I want to ask you now a couple of questions. I
18 want to come back to some of your discussions and meetings with some of
19 the HVO authorities, officials that you've -- that you've described
20 already starting with Mr. Boban. The meetings that you had with him, are
21 you able to recall whether he gave you any insights, any information about
22 broader goals?
23 A. No. Mr. Boban invariably would speak about the -- the plight of
24 his people, as in the Croatian people, and the fact that Europe, us, now
25 that we were there, should be in a position to assist them in -- to
1 improve their plight. To answer your question, no.
2 Q. Let me ask you then about Mr. Prlic.
3 A. Mm-hmm.
4 Q. Your discussions with him about the objectives or the goals of the
6 A. Again, it's important to state that I never saw a distinction
7 between the military or the political side of the HVO. To me it was one
8 homogenous unit led at the top with -- with -- and -- and I say it clearly
9 from my experience out there, six months out there, what I'd seen in
10 Gornji Vakuf and Prozor, what I'd -- what I'd observed myself with my own
11 eyes and what I'd listened to, I had the distinct impression that the --
12 the objective of what was going on out there was to move that part of
13 Bosnia or Herzegovina in a closer alignment with Croatia.
14 Q. Did Mr. Prlic ever indicate to you where the Muslims would fall in
15 that equation?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you recall having a conversation with him about a map or a
19 A. Yeah. It was a drawing. I've said before it was a map. In fact,
20 it was just a simple drawing of a circle with a line down through the
21 middle, and on one side we had Muslims and on the other we had Croats, and
22 as you said, the Muslims -- sorry, Croats and the Serbs, and the third
23 party were not there.
24 Q. Let me just ask you to say that again so that the record's clear.
25 A. It wasn't a map. It was just a circle, which was obviously
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I presume, with a line down through the centre of it,
2 one side with Croat and the other side Serb.
3 Q. Do you recall in what context he made this drawing or circle?
4 A. I can't -- I cannot remember the meeting, when it was, but I can
5 distinctly remember the action.
6 Q. What do you remember about the meeting other than that? Can you
7 recall anything specifically?
8 A. It was held in his office, which was -- I mean, the -- the office
9 was a lovely office, and in contrast to what was happening outside. It
10 seemed to stand away from what was happening outside.
11 Q. And you indicated the location of this officer yearly?
12 A. Yeah. I think it was the Rondo roundabout.
13 Q. What part of Mostar was that?
14 A. That was on the west side of Mostar.
15 Q. In your discussions with Mr. Prlic did he appear to be informed of
16 the events that were taking place in your area?
17 A. Again I repeat what I said. As a key leader, when I came across
18 something which I felt had to be acted on, the key leaders had to be
19 approached and they had to be aware of the situation because they could
20 change things. What we're talking about is a very small area, a very,
21 very small area. So every -- I mean, to my knowledge if people didn't
22 know what was going on, I found that hard to understand.
23 Q. And then the question was did Mr. Prlic ever indicate he did not
24 know what was going on?
25 A. Oh, no. No.
1 Q. Okay. Well, again same question in respect of Mr. Stojic again.
2 Did he appear to be informed or uninformed?
3 A. I repeat -- I repeat it again. The key leaders I refer to must
4 have known what was going on. I would engage them in key leader
5 engagements and brief them on what I had seen. Again I repeat, it's a
6 small area. Everybody knew what was going on at the time.
7 Q. And again the same question in respect of General Petkovic.
8 A. It would be the same answer.
9 Q. Did he appear to be in a position to assert control over his
11 A. Mm-hmm.
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did he appear to have knowledge and awareness of the events that
15 were taking place in the region?
16 A. My answer is the same.
17 Q. Okay?
18 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You've been very
20 expeditious. We have another 40 minutes, 45 minutes, who wants to start.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Before we start, Mr. President, I was wondering
22 where is this so-called drawing, and when was it that this was brought to
23 the Prosecution's attention about the drawing?
24 THE WITNESS: You're asking me, is it?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm asking the President to ask you.
1 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, as far as the
3 sketch is concerned, did it arrive this weekend? What does the witness
5 MR. STRINGER: I can tell Your Honour this: During the course of
6 the weekend we were looking at the witness statement which makes reference
7 to this story, although it indicates that this was a map, and in meeting
8 with the witness this weekend he said no, it wasn't a map. It was more as
9 you described a circle or a drawing that Mr. Prlic made. We're looking
10 for the paragraph in the witness statement which makes that reference.
11 What I can tell the Trial Chamber is that we informed the Defence
12 by letter over the weekend of that change or correction, if you will, to
13 the witness statement. So counsel was informed about it yesterday when we
14 learned of the correction. So ...
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So, Mr. Karnavas,
16 apparently in the written statement the witness said that it was a map,
17 and this weekend he corrected himself and said it wasn't a map, a circle
18 that had been drawn, and the Prosecution informed you of this.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I have to look at the statement again.
20 And I'm looking at the comments made by -- I received on 14th, 14th of
21 October, 2007. And maybe because I'm tired or something, but I don't seem
22 to see anything where it talks about a drawing versus a map. Perhaps I
23 could have some assistance from the Prosecution where it is that it states
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Which paragraph are you
1 referring to? Which paragraph in the witness's written statement?
2 MR. STRINGER: Paragraph 47 of the witness's statement,
3 Mr. President. The last sentence in paragraph 47. And as I indicated,
4 we -- we informed counsel of the paragraph number in which the change was
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It's paragraph 47.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, because given his testimony today, it
8 seems rather different. And I don't see it in the correction, but
9 again -- very well.
10 Your Honour, I could begin now or --
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I might just follow up on your question.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Stringer, is -- do you have this map, this --
14 this sketch? That was Mr. Karnavas's question.
15 MR. STRINGER: No, Your Honour, I don't.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, I can begin now or we can start
18 tomorrow. I believe it -- I'm in your hands.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please do start. Time is
20 precious. We shouldn't waste it.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Lane. We haven't properly introduced
24 ourselves. My name is Michael Karnavas. I represent Dr. Jadranko Prlic.
25 You're going to have to speak up to make sure that we get a clear record.
1 Now, if I listened to you correctly, as I understand you, before
2 you set off to Bosnia-Herzegovina you received little, if any,
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And while there was some sort of a briefing as far as what to
6 expect, I take it, they did not give you any sort of a briefing as to the
7 who's who?
8 A. Absolutely.
9 Q. So when you -- when you -- now, you had been in -- in -- before
10 going to Bosnia and Herzegovina you had been in some other area, as I
11 understand it, for two or three weeks.
12 A. In Krajina.
13 Q. In Krajina. And -- and so -- and that was sort of a different
15 A. Well, it was part of the ECM mandate.
16 Q. Right. And as far as I understand it from your -- from your
17 statement, all you did was drive around in the back of a car for that
18 three-week period?
19 A. I was only beginning my job if you like. Learning the ropes.
20 Q. So the answer is yes?
21 A. Perfect.
22 Q. Okay. So after that you went back to Split, or Zagreb, and that's
23 where you got this briefing, such as it was, and then you -- you went to
24 open up the office, as it were.
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Okay. And as I understand it, prior to go to country, to BiH,
2 there was some sort of conflict between you and some other gentleman, the
3 gentleman who in fact was giving you the briefing. You mentioned that in
4 your statement.
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Right?
7 A. Absolutely.
8 Q. So -- I may want -- I was not anticipating starting today,
9 Your Honour, but I do have the documents that I might be referring to.
10 Probably we'll get to them tomorrow, but we can share them with everyone
11 today. There's not much, but anyway.
12 All right. Now -- so this is -- and this gentleman was also
13 working for the ECMM?
14 A. He was.
15 Q. Okay. And does he have a name?
16 A. Jeff -- Mr. Jeff Beaumont.
17 Q. He's British?
18 A. He's British.
19 Q. Okay. And had he been around longer than you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Had he been in country or was he over there at the headquarters?
22 A. He had -- he was in country.
23 Q. Okay. And as I understand it the conflict was he had anticipated
24 heading off -- starting the mission and instead somebody who was sort of
25 a, for lack of a better word, a tenderfoot, somebody new --
1 A. Not that tender.
2 Q. Not that tender, but new to this particular region.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And there was some friction?
5 A. There was no friction. He was disappointed.
6 Q. Okay but then he eventually he joined you in country?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. And also at one point I believe you said in your statement he had
9 to be dismissed because I believe the word used was "clandestine",
10 clandestine meetings with Mr. Siljeg or Colonel Siljeg?
11 A. I was aware that he was having meetings, yes.
12 Q. But you used the word clandestine?
13 A. Without my approval.
14 Q. All right. Okay. Nothing --
15 A. The word "clandestine" probably isn't the right word in the
17 Q. Okay. Well, you were aware of those meetings or is it something
18 that -- he was doing it on the sly?
19 A. Yep.
20 Q. On the sly. Is that yes?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. On the sly?
23 A. Yeah.
24 Q. Was he not writing reports?
25 A. No. I wasn't -- he was in Tomislavgrad. I was getting no reports
1 from what was going on.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. And then he was meeting key leaders without the knowledge of the
4 HCC. So in other words there was no coordination in the activity in the
6 Q. Okay. So in other words what he was learning, if he was learning
7 anything, wasn't being passed on to you?
8 A. Absolutely.
9 Q. And then you needed that because you needed to pass it up to --
10 A. The line.
11 Q. Up the line?
12 A. That's it.
13 Q. Okay. All right now let's briefly speak about when you got to
14 Mostar. You already told us today how it is that you ended up setting up
15 shop in Siroki Brijeg, but as I understand it, Mostar, as you put it, was
16 the priority. Those are the words that you used?
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. I even took some notes today.
19 A. Good, yep.
20 Q. And I take it you said one of the things you wanted to do was to
21 seek out and meet and perhaps even develop some relationships with the key
22 leaders in the community. Is that a yes?
23 A. Yes. I said that, yep.
24 Q. Okay. I didn't hear you?
25 A. Oh, sorry, no, I said that.
1 Q. Okay. I don't mean to be pushy.
2 A. No, no, no. No problem.
3 Q. Okay. Now -- and it wasn't until you were there for about a week
4 and a half that you ended up walking across the bridge to -- and meeting
5 with the other side, as it were, you know, the Muslims; right?
6 A. As I said to you, I'm not quite sure of the time scale.
7 Q. Okay. But it was some time?
8 A. It was some time, yes.
9 Q. It was enough time at least for Mr. Pasalic who obviously was
10 keeping track of you, although, let's face it would not have been very
11 difficult with your white ice cream sort of suit, you know -- you know, to
12 be spotted so it was long enough at least for him to be rather, for lack
13 of a better term, discontent with the fact that they were -- that side was
14 being ignored?
15 A. Mm-hmm.
16 Q. And that was not your intention though?
17 A. No, absolutely not.
18 Q. Okay, and you said that had you known, had you known, had you --
19 in other words, if you had had a better briefing, you probably would have
20 gone there earlier; right?
21 A. That's a fair comment.
22 Q. And so I --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Please pause between question and answer for the
24 interpreters, thanks.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Sorry.
1 Q. I take it the folks in Zagreb or Split or wherever you got this
2 briefing didn't even know the difference between the west side and the
3 east side, who lived on one side, who lived on the other and what exactly
4 was happening in Mostar. I mean, that's the impression I'm getting.
5 A. Or else I was briefed on it and I didn't pick it up.
6 Q. Okay. All right. All right. Now, again I just want to make sure
7 I'm clear in my mind because you're setting off, you're going into this
8 area, you're going to set up shop, you've never been to this region for
9 all intents and purposes in this sort of a mission; correct?
10 A. In -- in that area.
11 Q. In that area?
12 A. Absolutely.
13 Q. You've been to Lebanon and all these other places, fair enough, do
14 they ever bother to give you some sort of a schematic, some sort of flow
15 chart as far as what to expect on the political level, the structure
16 itself? And that calls for a yes or no or I don't recall.
17 A. Ask me the question again, please.
18 Q. Okay. Before setting -- while you were getting this briefing and
19 before setting out, did those who briefed you give you some sort of a
20 schematic, you know, of where the chain of command or where the powers
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay, did they bother to give you a briefing, for instance - now
24 we're going to go into a little more specific - into the personalities,
25 such as who is Mate Boban, what his title is and what his de jure, his
1 legal function and perhaps maybe even if he has some de facto function,
2 you know, or powers. Did they give you that?
3 A. Not that I can remember.
4 Q. Okay. And did they do that for any of the other gentlemen that
5 you were asked about such as Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, Mr. Coric,
6 General Petkovic, General Praljak, did they do that? Or would the answer
7 be the same?
8 A. The answer is not that I can remember.
9 Q. Okay. All right. And if you could have remembered it at least
10 when you gave the statement because there are some things in the statement
11 that are rather specific you would have put that in; right?
12 A. If I had -- say again?
13 Q. If you had remembered it back then. If you can't remember it
14 today --
15 A. Oh, yes.
16 Q. -- you didn't remember it back in 2004 when you gave that
18 A. Absolutely yes.
19 Q. And when you gave that statement in 2004, incidentally - because I
20 see it's Mr. Spork who is with the OTP who took the statement - did he
21 show you any documents to sort of refresh your memory or walk you down
22 memory lane as it were before giving the statement or did he just ask you
23 a bunch of questions, tell me what you know --
24 A. Yep.
25 Q. -- and I'll write it down?
1 A. That was the format.
2 Q. Okay, and I take it over the weekend when you were being briefed
3 by the Prosecutor - I didn't mean to say "briefed" but let's say proofed -
4 you had a copy of your statement?
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. That's a yes?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You read it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You read it thoroughly?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. They also showed you some documents?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay, and I take it some of those documents were shown to you in
15 order to somewhat refresh your memory.
16 A. I don't know if that was the purpose of it.
17 Q. No, I didn't say it was but it did refresh your memory?
18 A. Naturally.
19 Q. Okay. All right, and did they show you documents which you were
20 unaware of, documents that you had never seen. Maybe you knew the
21 contents of the documents --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. -- but had never seen before?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay?
1 A. Just to make a general point if I may I was out running this
2 morning on the beach and as I'm running - because this is all coming back
3 15 years later - it's amazing what the mind opens up to.
4 Q. Sort of a moment of clarity?
5 A. No, just things you've forgotten about, buried, come back.
6 Q. Okay, okay, all right. Is there some revelation that happened on
7 the beach?
8 A. Maybe you don't want them to come back?
9 Q. Okay, okay, all right. Now, when you got to -- when you got to
10 Mostar, may I ask how is it that you knew who to see? Open-ended
12 A. Very simple answer to that: You will see that I mentioned that we
13 hired an interpreter, an Australian interpreter called Judy Zvoko who had
14 good knowledge of the key leaders in the area. So she briefed.
15 Q. Okay, and was she living on the east side or the west --
16 A. West side, west side.
17 Q. Okay, and did you ask her, did you rely on her to tell you who was
19 A. Her -- yeah. Her initially, yes.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. In the beginning, yep.
22 Q. All right and I'm asking that question because today it seemed
23 that you were struggling somewhat, albeit you gave a statement, as to what
24 exact function Mr. Stojic had. And you know and I'm saying this and I'm
25 not trying to --
1 A. Yeah, yeah.
2 Q. I'm not trying to --
3 A. No.
4 Q. -- embarrass you but you said that you met him on a regular basis?
5 A. Yep.
6 Q. You know you have vivid memories at least back in 2004 with
7 certain things and yet when asked what function this individual had that
8 you met --
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. -- almost on a weekly basis you were unable to tell us.
11 A. Well, there are two aspects to that.
12 Q. Two aspects to what?
13 A. To your question. And just let me let me deal with it.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. One is, as I've said throughout my few words today, we're 15 years
16 later, and lot of water has flowed under the river since then, and
17 secondly, being a soldier as I am, and I've said it umpteen times today --
18 Q. Right, right.
19 A. -- My priority is to identify problems in the area.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. And put my energy in there to resolve those.
22 Q. All right.
23 A. So let me finish.
24 Q. Go for it. Go for it.
25 A. So when there's people sitting around a table who can help me, key
1 leaders as I've said, that's what I'm there for.
2 Q. All right. Finished?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Fair enough, I heard that. You've said it many times. You have
5 to know - would you agree with me? - who the key leaders are. Number one,
6 right? That's a starting point?
7 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, counsel I'm sorry for the interruption
8 but at line 16 we didn't get in the transcript the witness's complete
9 answer to that question and I wonder if we could --
10 MR. KARNAVAS: It's been recorded, Your Honour, it's been recorded
11 but if -- it's -- we have a recording, they can catch it, but I don't have
12 any objections to it being -- for the complete answer.
13 MR. STRINGER: Maybe if the witness could just say his answer
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Okay, so you said when there's people sitting around a table to
17 help, do you recall what you said after but we do have a recording. We
18 have an excellent, excellent stenographer although I'm speaking too fast.
19 That is the problem. And you are too sir.
20 A. I'll -- I'll slow down. Yes. What I was actually going to say
21 there was and I've said it also a lot today.
22 Q. I know.
23 A. I'm talking about a homogenous group of people. I never saw a
24 line down the middle between political and military.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. I finished this since you asked the question. So these people, as
2 far as I'm concerned, whatever problem I would bring to that table had the
3 know all and the wherewithal to solve those problems.
4 Q. Okay, now, let's go back to what I was asking. You said that you
5 wanted to know who the key leaders were and I'm asking, first of all, you
6 need to find out who they are; right? You're shaking your head, that
7 means yes?
8 A. Sorry. Absolutely yes.
9 Q. Okay, and then I would assume you would want to know what their
10 function is, their individual function. I know you're a military man but
11 you want to know exactly who can do what. We're going to the general
12 questions and then we'll go to the specifics?
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. So would you agree with me that's the next step. You want to find
15 out if this is a key leader, what exactly is his title and what his
16 functions are?
17 A. No I don't agree with you.
18 Q. Okay, all right. Let me ask you this: What efforts, if any, did
19 you make to find out how the political system was structured? In other
20 words, who held what title, what were the positions, how were decisions
21 made, and so on and so forth?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What efforts? Just work with me on that?
24 A. Yep, I will.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. I'm sure. As part of the process of briefing my monitors and
2 going about their daily work, as I've said to you, part of their function
3 was to go and visit these leaders and to draw up a structure that we
4 thought was there at the time. More specific than that I cannot be
5 because I can't actually remember.
6 Q. Okay. Mr. Lane, you're -- you're the head honcho. You're the
7 number one, the big cheese?
8 A. No, not a big cheese, no.
9 Q. Over there?
10 A. No. Small cheese.
11 Q. Well, you were the head of the mission right?
12 A. No, no, no, no, no.
13 Q. For your team, weren't you?
14 A. I was the head of the team. I was head of the coordination
15 centre, not the head of the mission.
16 Q. All right, not the head of the whole mission, but you were head of
17 the team; right?
18 A. The head of the coordination centre.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. I had a number of teams working for me.
21 Q. Okay, so people were coming up to you.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I'm asking you concretely --
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. -- did you ever make any efforts to find out who held what
1 position and how was the political structure functioning? And it's a yes,
2 no, I don't recall.
3 A. I don't recall.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, counsel, I'm just again looking at line
6 2 at page 116. Again, I think it may be because of the speed that the
7 question and answer is happening but we missed again the witness's answer
8 to counsel's question.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll slow down to avoid the interruptions,
10 Your Honour. Although Mr. Stringer, being a veteran of this institution
11 knows that everything is being transcribed but I take it --
12 MR. STRINGER: Well, it's not being transcribed, that's the point.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it's being recorded, he understands that.
14 And before we have a final transcript they go over it. But I understand
15 the technique. I understand the technique of interrupting.
16 Q. So --
17 MR. STRINGER: So do you.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Touche.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue, please.
20 MR. KARNAVAS:
21 Q. Mr. Lane, going back, could you describe to us exactly what --
22 what function Mr. Prlic had? I don't want to hear the same old --
23 A. Well.
24 Q. -- well, they're all blending. I'm asking you concretely,
25 specifically: Do you know or do you not know?
1 A. I answered you already. As far as I -- I was concerned, Mr. Prlic
2 was the head honcho as you described.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. He was the boss.
5 Q. Now let me ask you this: How -- based on what documentation,
6 based on what -- did you look at did you look at any documents to see how,
7 any Official Gazettes, anything? Did you get a briefing?
8 A. No. I think in fact more importantly I got it from on the ground
9 which I keep referring to today.
10 Q. Okay and who was on the ground?
11 A. I was on the ground.
12 Q. No, no, but you're getting it on the ground?
13 A. Driving around, interviewing people.
14 Q. Okay?
15 A. Talking to people, getting my teams reporting back to me. That's
16 what I mean by "on the ground".
17 Q. Have you not also said that Mr. Boban was the number one?
18 A. No, you asked me about Mr. Prlic.
19 Q. Now I'm asking you: Have you not also said that?
20 A. No, no.
21 Q. You [Overlapping speakers]
22 A. Quite clearly what I was asked today, and I repeat what I said,
23 when I was asked to put them in sequence I put Mr. Boban number one and
24 then Mr. Prlic.
25 Q. Okay, fair enough.
1 A. But you asked me about Mr. Prlic there.
2 Q. Now you said "on the ground." Let me ask you this since you were
3 getting all your information on the ground --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel, slow down, please.
5 MR. KARNAVAS:
6 Q. It took a week and a half to go over the bridge to figure out that
7 that's where the Muslims were. That's the interpretation I got.
8 A. What I said --
9 Q. Let me finish my question please?
10 A. Sorry, yeah. Sorry.
11 Q. My question is this: Where were the headquarters of the ABiH?
12 Which side? Because you're getting your information on the ground. So
13 from the ground, tell me where were the headquarters of the ABiH?
14 A. In Mostar.
15 Q. Where in Mostar?
16 A. West Mostar.
17 Q. West Mostar, not East Mostar?
18 A. No, West.
19 Q. Okay. When did you learn that?
20 A. Can't remember.
21 Q. Okay. Well, how is it that you visit the east side to see
22 Mr. Pasalic if you know that the headquarters are on the west side?
23 A. The reason I visited the east side was --
24 Q. No, no, just answer my question: How is it that you don't go -
25 you're a military man - how is it you don't go to the west side to their
1 headquarters to meet with them and then you decide to meet Mr. Pasalic on
2 the east side?
3 A. I don't know. Can't remember.
4 Q. Did you ever visit the headquarters on the west side?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And who did you meet there?
7 A. I cannot remember.
8 Q. You mean it was a low-level --
9 A. No, I can't.
10 Q. -- soldier?
11 A. I can't remember.
12 Q. Was it Pasalic?
13 A. I just said I can't remember. I can't remember.
14 Q. How is it that when it comes to the Croats, you remember, when it
15 comes to the Muslims you don't remember?
16 A. It's 15 years on.
17 Q. That's my point.
18 A. 15 years on, significant things hopefully stick in your mind and
19 other things don't. That's the point I'm making to you.
20 Q. All right, now, you say that Mr. Prlic's office was on the Rondo.
21 Would it surprise you, sir, to learn that his office was in Hotel Ero?
22 A. Well, the office I met him in was on the Rondo.
23 Q. That's what you -- and you assume that was his office?
24 A. That's where I met him.
25 Q. You met him -- every time you met him there?
1 A. Maybe not, but a lot of the time I met him there.
2 Q. Did you ever met him in Hotel Ero?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down for the interpreters, thank you.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. Is that a yes or no or I don't know?
6 A. It's possible.
7 Q. All right. Now, you indicate -- now, you gave a statement and I
8 notice that this wasn't touched upon, but in your statement you said that
9 Mr. Prlic had a private restaurant.
10 A. That could be the hotel you're referring to.
11 Q. Okay, but not -- I thought you said his office was in the Rondo
12 now you're talking about he had about a hotel.
13 A. No, I'll be very -- I'll be clear on what I'm saying I said I went
14 to his office on the Rondo. You referred to the hotel. I said I wasn't
15 sure but perhaps I was there, and in the restaurant that's your -- that's
16 your reading but that possibly was the hotel, yes.
17 Q. Okay. So you visited him at the hotel.
18 A. No, I said that I said that it's possible.
19 Q. But in your statement in 2004 you seem to be rather clear and I
20 look at the pages and they all seem to have your initial because obviously
21 you read them, you read the statement, right? And this is because today I
22 see that you've made numerous corrections, all right? Now, there you say
23 that he had a private restaurant. Now, did you have the discussion with
24 the Prosecutor regarding this private restaurant in the briefing session
1 A. No.
2 Q. Or yesterday?
3 A. Did I have a what?
4 Q. Did this come up during the proofing session?
5 A. The location of the restaurant?
6 Q. Yeah, the -- because you -- it wasn't mentioned. I mean, this is
7 something that the Prosecutor would have mentioned.
8 A. Why?
9 Q. So did this come up during the proofing session?
10 A. It was part of what I read.
11 Q. Sir, when you were proofed by the Prosecutor, when he was
12 preparing you to go through certain documents, did he mention, did he ask
13 you any questions with respect to this private restaurant that you
14 referred to?
15 A. No. What he asked me was specifically to locate the office that I
16 had visited Mr. Prlic in, which I did.
17 Q. Right?
18 A. On the Rondo. But I also mentioned about the restaurant and I
19 couldn't remember where this restaurant was but you have now mentioned the
20 hotel and it's a possibility that that's where I met Mr. Prlic.
21 Q. Okay, and my question now is: Did this conversation come up
22 during the proofing session with this particular gentleman?
23 MR. STRINGER: That's been asked and answered, Mr. President.
24 THE WITNESS: I've answered that.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. So the answer is, no, it didn't come up?
2 MR. STRINGER: It's on the record. It's been asked and answered.
3 He's given his response.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. Did the gentleman there ask you about the private restaurant that
6 you make references to? Yes or no? This is the gentleman we're talking
7 about. We're not talking about the other investigator that wrote this
8 report. We're talking about --
9 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I'm looking at line 15 of page 121,
10 asking whether it came up during the proofing session, and continuing
11 down: "What he asked me specifically to locate the office that I had
12 visited Mr. Prlic in." I think the witness has given his response to this
13 question about the restaurant.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, the restaurant is separate from the office.
15 Now, Mr. Stringer may wish to testify and tell us, did he ask him the
16 question about it?
17 Q. Were you asked by this gentleman about this -- this so-called
18 private restaurant, because you made representations to the Prosecutor
19 back in 2004 that there was some sort of a private restaurant that
20 Mr. Prlic had with the waiter coming and all of that.
21 A. Hmm.
22 Q. Did this come up during your proofing session with Mr. Stringer,
23 yes or no?
24 A. Specifically that?
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. No.
2 Q. Okay. That's it. Fair enough. Now, when you gave this
3 statement, you were under the impression that Mr. Prlic had a private
4 restaurant. You're shaking your head, nodding it. Does that mean yes?
5 A. Yes, yes, that's what I wrote, yeah.
6 Q. Okay. Did you ever -- was that something that you got from the
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding the private
9 restaurant, whether you say private restaurant, in your mind, in the army
10 a high-ranking general may have a place where he receives his guests of
11 some standing. When you saw Mr. Prlic, perhaps you meant to say that
12 Mr. Prlic may be receiving persons in a particular restaurant in a private
13 or official capacity, or was Mr. Prlic a restaurant owner? There's some
14 confusion there. Could you be more specific, please.
15 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm missing the point here, but what I
16 said was I met Mr. Prlic in a facility that appeared to be a dining
17 facility, an up-market dining facility. What I said was I wasn't aware
18 where it was but when -- when the Defence then mentioned the hotel, then
19 obviously that became a possibility that's where it was.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. May I continue? Thank you.
21 Q. The reason I'm pushing you is because in 2004 you gave certain
22 impressions to the Prosecutor. Those impressions were based on your
24 A. Mm-hmm.
25 Q. They were also based on the information you were collecting from
1 the ground and from your observations. You said you were there six
2 months. Now, in paragraph 57, for instance, you say: "It should be noted
3 that Mr. Prlic private restaurant was on the top of a building overlooking
4 East Mostar." And then you go on.
5 Now, today, as you sit here today, after your little jog on the
6 Scheveningen beach, okay? Because I don't know what came back, you know,
7 as you were sort of thinking back 15 years ago, do you still maintain that
8 Mr. Prlic had a private restaurant, because that what -- that is what you
9 represented to the Office of the Prosecution when they came to you and
10 they were asking you for concrete information.
11 A. Yeah. To the best -- to the best of my knowledge, what I said at
12 the time actually happened.
13 Q. No, no. I'm not saying what happened. You represented that he
14 had a private restaurant.
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. And I want to know concretely, sir --
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. -- is that your position today?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. Would it surprise you, sir, to learn that the food that was
21 being delivered as was alluded to by the President, came from the
22 restaurant downstairs from Hotel Ero, that that was the hotel restaurant
23 and not Mr. Prlic's restaurant? Would that surprise you?
24 A. No, not in the least, because when you mentioned the hotel's name
25 I said to you there was a possibility that's where I met him, so to answer
1 your question does it surprise me, no.
2 Q. All right. You met him -- when you would have -- when he invited
3 you as a guest to have conversations and you would have -- share a meal,
4 it was -- it was a room; right? Not in a regular restaurant. It was a
5 private room; correct?
6 A. Absolutely.
7 Q. Somebody would come in wearing a bow tie or whatever, however
8 waiters dress?
9 A. Mm-hmm.
10 Q. Yes? That's a --
11 A. Correct, yes.
12 Q. Okay. And they would give you the food?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you would sit there and you would have discussions with
15 Mr. Prlic?
16 A. Excuse me, yes.
17 Q. Okay. And as I understand it from speaking with Mr. Prlic, he
18 made himself available to you. Whenever you wanted to see him, he was
20 A. I said that, yes.
21 Q. Okay. You said that in your statement and you're saying that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. Here, however, when you gave your statement to the
25 Prosecutor, and an objective reader, reading what you stated, walks away
1 with the impression that you, six months on the ground, and getting your
2 information from the ground, were of the opinion that Mr. Prlic had a
3 private restaurant and that he was privately being served, when in fact it
4 appears that you're meeting him in the Hotel Ero where he had his office
5 on the fourth or fifth floor and the food was being delivered from the
6 hotel restaurant.
7 Now, given that, assuming that's correct and we'll bring in
8 evidence to prove all of this, would you not say that you're on the ground
9 knowledge and observation, at least on this particular issue, is way off?
10 A. No. No.
11 Q. Okay. So you maintain that he still had a private restaurant?
12 A. I maintain my choice of words might be -- might have been better
13 if I'd remembered correctly what happened that particular day or those
14 days, but the essence of what I said still stands.
15 Q. The essence still stands.
16 A. Yeah. It was a restaurant. It was private. The food was served
17 privately to myself and Mr. Prlic by waiter service.
18 Q. Sir, I put to you that when you gave this statement and reading
19 this statement is it doesn't give that impression. Rather, you're trying
20 to give the impression that Mr. Prlic had a private restaurant.
21 A. No, no, no.
22 Q. With private dining facilities. Okay. Very well. Now, did you
23 ever ask Mr. Prlic in all these meetings for him to specify exactly to you
24 what his functions were, what he could and could not do? I'm going to ask
25 the question that the Prosecutor didn't ask you. Did you ever sit down
1 and ask him concretely: Tell me what are your functions?
2 A. I cannot remember.
3 Q. What do you mean you cannot remember?
4 A. I -- I can't rather if I did or didn't ask him that.
5 Q. If you had asked him that and had you had that information, don't
6 you think that that's the sort of information that you would have shared
7 with the folks that you had to report to?
8 A. I go back to what I said earlier today.
9 Q. No, no, let me ask you -- please answer my question.
10 A. Okay.
11 Q. If you -- if you -- if you had asked that question and if you had
12 received information, concrete information, from one of the key persons of
13 what his functions were and what his -- and what he was capable of doing,
14 would you not have put that into a report, done some sort of briefing and
15 passed it up the chain of command; yes or no?
16 A. No. What I actually said to you was I can't remember --
17 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you whether you can remember --
18 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm asking is that the sort of information you
20 would put in a report --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down for the interpreters.
22 MR. STRINGER: This is --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Yes, Mr. Stringer.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I have limited time, Your Honour, and the gentleman
25 is -- I know it's late in the day but I'm asking very specific questions.
1 Let me slow it down, let me slow it down, okay? I'm going to take a deep
2 breath now.
3 A. You need a room.
4 Q. Let me ask it again, okay? Just the last question and then we can
5 break for the day, because I'm going to switch to other topics.
6 If you had in any of your meetings with Mr. Prlic or anybody else
7 for that matter --
8 A. Yep.
9 Q. -- a conversation, a meeting, and if during that meeting you had
10 asked the gentleman concretely what his functions were, de facto, de jure,
11 what he could or could not do, is that the sort of information that you
12 would have put down and passed it up the chain so that at least everybody
13 would know what exactly you were learning?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. So when you say you don't remember, if that -- that indeed
16 had occurred with you at least, Mr. Lane, we would have some sort of
17 document where you sit down and say at this meeting I asked concretely
18 Mr. Prlic to explain to me who is doing what, what his functions are, what
19 he's capable of doing. We would have some sort of document. Please
20 answer my --
21 A. Absolutely, yeah.
22 Q. Okay, all right, that's all I wanted. You want to say something?
23 A. I do.
24 Q. Go ahead. Supplement it.
25 A. That is not to say that that wasn't done.
1 Q. I didn't say that.
2 A. Yeah. In fact, there probably are documents there in the RC with
3 that kind of information on it.
4 Q. All right. But I'm asking Mr. Lane.
5 A. Okay.
6 Q. I'm not asking those other --
7 A. Okay, yep.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, at this point perhaps it would be a
10 good time to -- couple of minutes early.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Precisely, yes.
12 Witness, as you have taken the solemn declaration, you're a
13 witness of justice and you will have no further contact with the
14 Prosecution nor anyone else who works within this courtroom. As you know,
15 Mr. Stringer has reminded you, we will resume work tomorrow morning at
16 9.00. Unfortunately you won't have time for running along the beach. So
17 we will meet again tomorrow at 9.00 a.m.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.57 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 16th day
20 of October, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.